AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, partnered with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to send a letter to President Biden over the "humanitarian and public safety emergency" at the border.
"We write to you with a sense of urgency regarding the escalating situation at our southern border," the letter stated. "In doing so, we hope to demonstrate that this bicameral concern is neither partisan nor political."
The letter asks President Biden to appoint a new border czar and recommends former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, who worked under President Obama.
"He dealt with the 2014 surge," said Rep. Cuellar in an interview with FOX 7. "He was compassionate, but he did what he needed to do."
Rep. Cuellar’s district lies along the border, and he met with leaders in those communities this week.
"They basically are saying, ‘Hey let’s press pause, let us breathe a bit, especially as Covid cases are coming up.'"
On Tuesday, the Biden administration released a blueprint outlining the next steps the federal government will be taking at the border.
The list included improving the expedited removal process for those that arrive at the border and reducing immigration court backlogs. It didn't mention appointing a new border czar.
According to U.S. Customs & Border Protection, more than 1.2 million migrants have been apprehended at the border this fiscal year. In June, CBP recorded a 571% increase in enforcement encounters compared to June 2020.