“We’ve talked about immigration reform for as long as I can remember. Both parties have had control of Washington at one point or another over the last 20 years, and we have failed to do anything about it other than create the mess that we have today,” Val Verde County Commissioner Beau Nettleton said in a Tuesday night meeting.
“It is inexcusable,” he added.
Val Verde County includes Del Rio, which became the epicenter of the border crisis as tens of thousands of migrants gathered under a bridge.
Nettleton said it was time for fellow border counties and cities to join forces in a suit to challenge U.S. immigration policies that have led to the largest influx of migrants at the southern border in more than 20 years.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported more than 1.5 million illegal bordering crossings during the fiscal year 2021 – a figure that has not yet included the number of illegal encounters during the month of September.
“I don’t have the answer as to whether a lawsuit solves this problem, but it draws attention to this problem,” Nettleton said. “They took the same oath of office that I did, which was to uphold the Constitution…they need to comply with that oath and do their job and stop this mess.”
President Biden has received fierce backlash from both Republicans and Democrats on the Hill for the administration’s failure to address the crisis at the southern border.
But members of the GOP have claimed Trump-era policies that stymied that flow migrants have been made ineffective.
Republicans have condemned Biden’s reversal of “Remain in Mexico” and his move to exempt unaccompanied minors from Title 42 – resulting in what some believe is the reason there has been a historic spike in illegal minor arrivals.
“I am all for people coming into this country legally – that’s what built this country,” Nettleton said. “This is not a legal process, this is not the right way to do it.”
The Texas commissioner said years of ineffective policies have forced border towns to unfairly carry the burden.
“Fifty percent of the population of this city was sitting underneath our International Bridge – how is a town of this size, with our tax base supposed to deal with that problem,” he said, referring to the flood of Haitian migrants earlier this month.
“It is a complete failure of everything that is going on in Washington, for not just the last couple of years, but for many, many years.”