(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said Tuesday that what qualifies as a legitimate asylum claim is persecution by the state based on religion or sex, not fleeing poverty and looking for a job.
In fact, he said the country with the most successful asylum cases adjudicated in the United States is China, not one of the Latin American countries.
“In fact, most of the people that are coming in for asylum, you know, they need to understand that the law under asylum means there has to be a persecution by the state based on religion, sex or one of those reasons,” the congressman told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“Coming from poverty, looking for a job, that doesn't allow it, and what’s interesting, when you look at the number of successful asylum cases, you know which is the number one country that gets the highest percentage? It’s China. It’s not one of the Latin American countries, so we have to look at the asylum and make sure that we vet people before they come in and they’re asking for asylum,” he said.
Cuellar accompanied President Biden during his trip to Mexico this week, and the congressman said the Border Patrol agents he talked to felt that the president’s plan to extend the CBP One asylum app to Nicaraguan, Cuban, and Haitian migrants will work.
“Well, he did show up, which I'm glad, and on Thursday, he came out with a plan that I have talked to some of the Border Patrol agents, and they feel the plan will work. That is you provide an incentive for people that want to ask for asylum to do it the right way, and if they don't, there should be a disincentive if they come in between ports of entry, but we gotta have to have the resources to implement this correctly,” he said.
When asked whether Biden has the ear of open border activists, Cuellar said, “I think in the past they have only listened to immigration activists. You have to listen to the men and women in green and blue, and this is something the president did go down there and talk to the men and women in green and blue, but more importantly, you gotta to listen to border communities, because look, what New York is getting or Chicago, Washington is getting is only a drop -- only a drop of what we get down there to the border.
“So listening to landowners, mayors, county judges and all that, folks down there, it is important, because we don't have a single sanctuary city or county along the border, none. I've talked to so many border officials, and none of them has said just letting people in is the right way,” the congressman said.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, Rep. Tony Gonzales said he was told by the White House that he would not be invited to accompany Biden on his trip to the border, despite the fact that Gonzales represents El Paso, Texas, which is where the president visited.
Cuellar said that he doesn’t know why Gonzales was not allowed to go.
“I don't know how that decision was made to who was going. I didn't know about it til-- even myself until the very end. I can tell you about Tony. Tony Gonzalez is a friend of mine. Senator John Cornyn is a friend of mine. Those two individuals, we’ve talked many a times to try to find bipartisan ways to address this issue,” he said.
“So I will continue working with Tony in appropriations, and I certainly want to work with Senator John Cornyn and other folks, Democrats and Republicans - the ones that want to find practical solutions and not just do political messaging, and I’m talking about both the left and the right,” the congressman added.