Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar has historical past of breaking with fellow Democrats on immigration

Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas was again within the headlines this week over border safety and immigration – points which have landed him within the political highlight over time.

The longtime Democratic congressman from the border metropolis of Laredo, Texas – a focus of the inflow of migrants on the nation’s southern border – launched images from a U.S. Customs and Border Safety short-term overflow facility, which confirmed crowded and makeshift circumstances as household detention facilities and shelters for youngsters shortly stuffed up.


“Consider this can be a Border Patrol facility. They don’t seem to be geared up to deal with younger folks and households. They have been set as much as deal with adults,” Cuellar defined Tuesday in an interview on “Fox and Associates.” 

Cuellar urged that President Biden‘s “administration simply has to transfer them quicker into the Well being and Human Companies amenities.”

The 65-year-old congressman, a self-described “moderate-centrist” Democrat, has by no means been shy about breaking social gathering ranks. Final week he chided Biden for not making a visit to the border to witness the burgeoning disaster.

“Any president ought to come down [and] actually spend time with border communities. You realize, the president despatched a delegation and a bunch of oldsters from the White Home,” the nine-term congressman stated on Fox Information’ “Your World.” “They did not discuss to anyone, not even members of Congress down right here.”

If Cuellar’s phrases sound acquainted – they’re.


Cuellar urged then-President Barack Obama to come back to the U.S.-Mexican border in 2014, throughout an identical surge in migrant crossings.

On the time, he angered fellow Democrats in addition to the remainder of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus by teaming up with Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to push a invoice to hurry deportation of Central American youngsters.

Cuellar, who served 14 years within the Texas Home of Representatives, supported then-Gov. George W. Bush for president in 2000. The subsequent yr, Gov. Rick Perry, Bush’s Republican successor, named Cuellar secretary of state.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, maintain up a border map as he speaks throughout a gathering with lawmakers on immigration coverage within the Cupboard Room on the White Home in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (Picture by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Publish by way of Getty Photos)
((Picture by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Publish by way of Getty Photos))

Cuellar ran for Congress in 2002, dropping to highly effective GOP Rep. Henry Bonilla. However in 2004 he narrowly defeated Democratic Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, who was chair of the Hispanic caucus. Cuellar received the final election, and two years later handily defeated Rodriguez once more within the Democratic main earlier than successful the final election in a landslide.


After simply successful reelections from 2008 by 2018, Cuellar confronted severe competitors final yr. The Justice Democrats, the progressive group that supported Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in her profitable Democratic main upset in 2018, gave its help to Cuellar main challenger Jessica Cisneros, a 26-year-old immigration and human rights legal professional. Cuellar narrowly defeated Cisneros earlier than successful reelection in November.

Cuellar represents Texas’ twenty eighth Congressional District, which extends from the jap and southern suburbs of San Antonio right down to the southern border alongside the Rio Grande, extending southeast to the outskirts of McAllen.

The congressman’s roots in his native Laredo run deep. He was certainly one of eight youngsters born to migrant staff. His brother Martin is the elected sheriff of Webb County.

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