SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar and Republican Senator John Cornyn got a bipartisan look at the surge in migrants, including many unaccompanied children, crossing the border illegally.
At a news conference Friday in Laredo, Cuellar said some of the undocumented immigrants are being transported to San Antonio and Austin.
“I don’t know exactly the vehicles that they’re using,” said Cuellar . “If they’re in Dilley or they’re in Karnes City, we were told this morning–again confirmed–that they are dropped off in San Antonio and Austin.”
Prior to the news conference, Cuellar and Cornyn visited a detention facility for unaccompanied minors in Carrizo Springs. Cornyn says one of the people who takes care of the teens at that facility likened the situation to a “Category 5 hurricane in the Gulf with tropical storm-force winds on the coast. It’s coming.”
Cornyn added that everyone they talked to warned that this is just the beginning and things will get much worse unless they do something about it. Statistics show that more than 100,000 migrants were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in February, and the peak season is approaching.
The federal government puts some of the unaccompanied minors with sponsors or family members. Some are placed in foster homes and others are being housed at the facility in Carrizo Springs. Cuellar says it has 952 beds at a daily cost to taxpayers of $800 dollars per room.
“It’s about $1 million a day that is being charged there right now and that doesn’t include all the other offices with CDC, the doctors, the nurses, the education,” Cuellar said.
The Congressman, whose district includes part of San Antonio, was told by some of the unaccompanied minors that they were lured here by family and friends who have already entered the United States illegally. He also was told that the cartels are charging big bucks for a trip to the border.
“They charge 5-, 6-, 7-thousand (dollars), depending on who they’re trying to bring in,” said Cuellar.
During a roundtable discussion, Cuellar released a video, which shows a long line of people waiting for their turn to cross from Mexico into the United States on a raft.
The video, which you can see in the tweet below, shows mostly women and young children making the trip.
We have to understand and address the “push” and “pull” factors that lead migrants to the U.S. pic.twitter.com/NpMx5WagFg
— Rep. Henry Cuellar (@RepCuellar) March 11, 2021