There continues to be a major issue on Texas' southern border.
For this week’s Texas: The Issue Is, FOX 4’s Steven Dial spoke to Eagle Pass Democrat State Rep. Eddie Morales, who says the Biden administration is not doing enough.
He said he has a worker program that could help ease the surge.
Morales: "I think that we are handling, as part of the Democratic Party, we are kind of handling this on a silver platter to the opposite party by not really getting our hands on it and focusing all our efforts.
Dial: "Is the plan you sent to Gov. Abbott realistic? Is this something that you think Republicans and Democrats and the governor can get on board with?
Morales: "We can have these workforce agreements between a governor in Mexico and the governor of Texas. We need 100 laborers, let's say in Uvalde for some crop picking, they can do a joint cooperation agreement where they send them over here for a period of time and they're paying again, they're gainfully employed. The employers are taken care of also so that they don't get into any criminal conduct and employing these sorts of migrants. And it's a win-win situation for everyone. Just as an example, we had 1,600 crossings daily that were taking place in the Eagle Pass/Del Rio sector alone. If we were to charge $2,000 for that initial processing fee and for them to get a non-voting ID card with an RFID chip in there, that would serve also as a credit card for them, we would be able to generate $3.2 million a day and over $1.2 billion annually just in the Eagle Pass/Del Rio sector."
Morales further elaborated on his plan.
Morales: "We were able to run some background checks and we're also then able to keep track of them through that RFI ID chip that's in the non-voting ID card. It would also serve as a credit card so that we would always be able to access that. And we know that they’re gainfully employed and be able to then charge the initial fee as well as any renewal fees. Also on the plan, the plan provides that you would have to be gainfully employed and you'd be having to comply with all of the requirements, including not getting anything above a Class C misdemeanor.
Steven: "You're a Democrat calling out the sitting president and his administration. Why now? Why? Why are you calling out the administration now?"
Morales: "From day one, as a Democrat, I think that I have to call the strikes the strikes, and the balls the balls. Regardless of party affiliation, I think that once you get elected, I have to represent a little over 200,000 people in my district, the largest geographic district in the state of Texas and in the United States. It has a shared border with Mexico over 750 miles. And at the end of the day, I am the voice of everyone in House District 74. And as such, sometimes it's imperative that we call out our own whenever we think that they're not doing enough. And this is one of those issues. I voted for Biden. I voted for this sort of leadership up there. I think he's doing a fantastic job in getting us out of the recession and in a timely fashion from all the other type of countries, especially in Europe. I think we're seeing a faster recovery. And I think there's a number of issues that he's done well on this one issue. And when we appoint, for example, the vice president, Kamala Harris, when we appoint her, we have her appointed as the border czar, and yet she's never been down here on the border and actually put her boots on the ground. Those are the types of openings that we leave to the opposition."
Dial: "Do you think that any parts of Operation Lone Star are still inhumane? I know you've made comments in the past, have you changed your stance on this?"
Morales: "I happily supported Operation Lone Star. Most recently, we heard of some emails and some communications and some concerns and complaints filed by even those that were working with DPS or the National Guard soldiers also about the inhumane treatment. And I didn't sign up for that. And so I think that we needed to make sure that we put a checks and balance, that we made sure that the migrants were being treated humanely. I've seen a change in direction. I've seen a more humane processing of these migrants. But at the same time, we can't call it humane when we're still using the river to get them across or for them to get across, and we processed them over here."