Rep. Carlos Gimenez Calls For Immigration Reform After Visit To Texas Border

CBS4's Ted Scouten has more from Gimenez's press conference.

Video Transcript

CARLOS GIMENEZ: We need to come up with a comprehensive policy of what to do with the children. Again, they come--

LAUREN PASTRANA: Now at 5:30, Congressman Carlos Gimenez calling for change amid the crisis at the US Southern border. Gimenez urged lawmakers to overhaul immigration policies as the surge in migrant crossings in recent weeks has opened up a political debate.

ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: The White House says it's looking for shelters to house those children, but Republicans are blaming the White House for the increasing numbers. CBS 4's Ted Scouten has more on the congressman's visit.

CARLOS GIMENEZ: What's happening at the border is really a humanitarian crisis.

TED SCOUTEN: Congressman Carlos Gimenez just back from a trip to the Texas-Mexico border with fellow Republican lawmakers. An estimated 4,200 unaccompanied children are being held after crossing the border alone.

CARLOS GIMENEZ: It really broke my heart to see those hundreds of kids arranging, I would think, from, like, four until about 17. And there are literally hundreds of them there.

TED SCOUTEN: Congresswoman Gimenez said the president is to blame for the influx of migrants making their way to the US.

CARLOS GIMENEZ: Well, this is just the beginning of what we consider to be an onslaught due to the change in policies that we see from the Biden administration.

TED SCOUTEN: He said we need more border agents and to finish construction of key parts of Trump's border wall.

CARLOS GIMENEZ: We need to restore order to our border. We need hundreds of more judges to be able to expedite the asylum hearings of these migrants that are coming over.

TED SCOUTEN: Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson said the Biden administration needs time to fix the problem.

FREDERICA WILSON: You have to remember that Mr. Biden has only been in office for, like, 60 days. So all of this happened under Mr. Trump. You have to remember, he has inherited a crisis. So we have to give him the opportunity to solve that crisis.

TED SCOUTEN: 3,000 teenage boys may be headed to the Dallas Convention Center for temporary shelter. Congressman Gimenez said we could end up seeing kids once again at the holding facility in Homestead.

CARLOS GIMENEZ: We haven't heard officially that's going to be open, but I would expect with opening up a convention center in Dallas that eventually, you know, this may be open.

MARIA RODRIGUEZ: An expedited program to get those kids in the homes, reunited with their family members or their sponsors, is key.

TED SCOUTEN: Advocates from the Florida Immigrant Coalition say kids should not be held in detention centers.

MELISSA TAVERAS: Put them in facilities that feel like homes. Put them with foster parents or churches like they did with the "Peter Pan" kids when they came from Cuba.

TED SCOUTEN: The Biden administration is now calling on FEMA to help with logistics in trying to process and shelter these children. Ted Scouten, CBS 4 News.