Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cuellar's Immigration Scorecard

In case you missed it, Laredo is the nation's largest inland port.  What that means is that, as a Laredoan, you likely know a handful of friends or relatives that have had a hand in the business of international trade, be it legal or not.  What that also means is that the cargo that has passed the Rio Grande in both directions largely drives the local economy.

Recently, however, much has been mentioned about the large influx of immigrants from countries other than Mexico.  Julian Aguilar (The Texas Tribune) makes note of the huge increase in the number of Cubans showing up on our doorstep.  
In 2015, about 28,400 Cubans entered Texas through the Laredo field office of Customs and Border Protection, which extends from Del Rio to Brownsville. 
The Cubans apparently got the memo that our port es chingon.  At the very least we should show them our hospitality.  But Henry 'not my given name' Cuellar doesn't want Laredo to turn into Ellis Island.  What the congressman wants to do instead is revise the pact that has granted Cubans asylum in our country for decades.  According to him, the policy is a "Cold War leftover enacted when the country was trying to prevent the spread of communism."

If anything, Cuellar is being an asshole consistent in his approach.  Last year he was all for promptly deporting women and kids from Central America when Laredo was flooded with immigrants.  This year he wants tougher vetting of Syrian refugees.  

It makes sense now why Laredo got rid of its nickname, The Gateway City:  we no longer visit Mexico as before and some of us don't want immigrants coming in.  Local officials are all for the cargo that fills warehouses and store shelves.  Apart from that, the love is stretched thin.  

Henry Cuellar seems to be evolving on immigration, but not in a good way.  He wants to make it tougher for people who are choosing to come to this country, all to appease the conservative base of District 28.  It's no shock, really; Laredo is not exactly a liberal hotbed.  And it's favorite son isn't exactly going to reverse track on his long-held 'center right' beliefs.

In Cuellar's quest for consistency on immigration, I would only suggest that he think about removing another Cold War leftover: the words In God We Trust from our currency.  That's compromise - something that HENRY is well aware of.  


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