Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Gimenez called the Biden administration's handling of the U.S.-Mexico border "almost criminal," adding that he thinks the administration is releasing thousands of migrants into the U.S. in the hopes they will ultimately become Democratic voters through comprehensive immigration reform.
Border patrol has reportedly released 50,000 illegal immigrants without a date to appear in court, and only 13% have reported to an ICE office. In the past, migrants eligible for release into the U.S. after being stopped at the border were assigned court dates.
There were about 20,000 apprehensions of individuals attempting to enter the U.S. illegally last week at the Rio Grande sector of the border alone. It is unclear how many of those individuals were released into the interior of the U.S.
Gimenez, former mayor of Miami-Dade County, shared his assessment of the number of illegal immigrants being released by the Biden Administration into the U.S.
"That's the problem with having an administration which says they're centrist but they're not really," Gimenez said after speaking at a rally for freedom in Cuba held at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. "They're really far left extreme, a far left extreme administration. People say, 'Well, look, [Biden] talks like a centrist.' I don't care how the president talks. I care what the president does, and what the president is doing, especially at the southern border, is almost criminal.
"We now know that the new strain of COVID, lambda, I believe it's called, is coming through the southern border, because they're ravaging South America. We don't know how potent it is. Some people say it's more potent than the Delta variant. They say it's more deadly than the variant and the vaccines may not work as well. ... How are we allowing thousands and thousands of immigrants to flow through the southern border?
"And yet, if you're an American and actually you go to Mexico, and you want to come back to the United States, as a citizen, you have to test negative for COVID-19. How is that fair? How does that make any sense? I'll tell you what. It doesn't make any sense."
Gimenez argued that the Biden Administration has an ulterior motive in not enforcing immigration law at the border: an unacknowledged hope that illegal immigrants will ultimately receive a pathway to citizenship and vote Democratic.
"I think it's ideology, it's all ideological," he said. "They think that somehow all these are going to turn into Democrat voters. I think they're really mistaken. At the end, Hispanics actually have more in common with the Republican Party than with the Democrat Party.
"It is not in the best interest of our national security. It's not in the best interest of our health here in the United States. It's in nobody's best interest. It's not even in the best interest of the ones that are coming over. They're putting themselves in danger. They are enriching the cartels, to the tunes of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars a month. That makes no sense to anybody."
Gimenez blasted the hypocrisy of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for saying that Cubans who come to the U.S. by sea will be turned away.
"My reaction is that we should have a consistent policy on immigration," Gimenez said. "You're turning away the Cubans from the sea, you're allowing 180-190,000 other immigrants to come through the southern border, which is now become a huge crisis. So we just need to be consistent in the application of our policies."