Transcript: Rep. Henry Cuellar on “Face the Nation,” Dec. 18, 2022

Transcript: Rep. Henry Cuellar on “Face the Nation,” Dec. 18, 2022

Face the Nation


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CBS News

Ex-Atlanta Mayor: Democrats can’t stop”


Ex-Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says Democrats “cannot stop until this election is over.”

06:24

Below is a transcript from an interview with Keisha Lance Bottoms, White House adviser. It aired Sunday, December 18. 2022, on Face the Nation.


MARGARET BRENAN: We now go to Keisha Lance Bottoms who is a Senior Advisor to President Biden for Public Engagement. Good morning.

KEISHA LANCE BOOTTOMS: Good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN – Immigration is top of mind. Two Democrats have just spoken out against the Administration’s inaction regarding title 42’s expiration. What is the administration doing in order to discourage migrants from coming to America?

KEISHA LANCE BOOTTOMS: The administration has been planning for Title 42’s end for months. But, Margaret, these people are not illegally crossing the border. These are people asking for the United States to process them in accordance with its laws. People need to remember that Title 42 is a public emergency order. If Title 42 is removed, we will return to Title 8. This allows for a process. That is why the administration asked Congress to provide more than $3 billion to assist us in processing these migrants. We want to ensure that people are treated humanely and that bordering communities have the resources they need.

We need Congress to partner with us in this effort and for Congress to take action. Because this is a global problem that the White House alone cannot solve. We need Congress’ support.

MARGARET BRENAN: I think you are right to say that asylum is a human right. People can’t be expelled if Title 42 is removed. It allowed for the expulsion of people without guaranteeing an asylum hearing. This means that people can stay in the United States until they are tried. This will result in more people entering the United States. They could be involved in a lengthy process that could take years. So I return to the fundamental question of what the White House is doing to say, “Don’t come to the Border and try to claim asylum.”

KEISHA LANCE OTTOMS

The White House has made it clear that they want people to use the lawful process. We are seeing that many people are taking advantage the possibility that Title 42 could disappear. Many people are exploiting migrants this week by telling them to come now or lose your ability. This is simply not true. This is not a problem that the United States faces. This is a global problem. The President has been working closely with our partners around the world to address this global problem. We also need to work together at home. We need Congress’ partnership, and we must focus on this decades-old issue. That issue is ensuring that comprehensive immigration reform is achieved, and not just trying to impeach Homeland Security Secretary. When you think of impeachment, it is for misdemeanors, high crimes, and misdemeanors. This is a difference of policy approach, not best use of resources, certainly not best use time. Congress must work with the White House on this issue.

MARGARET BRENNAN It looks like gridlock, so it doesn’t really get to a place where bipartisan reform can occur. What can President Biden do if executive actions are all that remains?

BOTTOMS – Margaret, I want you to recall that President Biden signed more than 200 bipartisan bills in his first two years of office. He isn’t giving up on bipartisan work to address the issue of immigration, which we all should be concerned about. We need funding from Congress and we must continue our efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. The President has stated that he wants bipartisan cooperation to get things done. According to the American people, they want us all to work together in a bipartisan way. Everyone needs to bring ideas. Remember that Republicans will control the House. The need for Republicans to state what they will do has been eliminated. Now, tell us what you will do with the President to ensure that we have comprehensive immigration reform. We need funding to ensure that we can meet the immediate needs of the ground.

MARGARET BRENAN: Do Democratic leaders tell you that you will get $3.4 billion?

BOTTOMS – We’re going to keep trying, and we’ll keep pushing. We hope that we can work daily with members of Congress to ensure that the funding is available as needed. This is not a Democratic issue. This is not a Republican issue. This is a problem that affects all of us. Even those of us who do not live in border states are affected by this issue. Senator Manchin spoke about West Virginia’s needs and how West Virginia needs immigration reform to improve its economy. We’ll keep working around-the-clock. Even though people may not see the president at the border it doesn’t mean he’s not working.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. But why doesn’t the man go to the border instead? It was only Arizona. Why wasn’t it worth his while?

BOTTOMS All of these considerations are important for the President. The President must make the best use possible of all resources and divert resources to the ground when he visits.

MARGARET BRENNAN – Is that why he didn’t go?

BOTTOMS – I don’t know why he went, but I can say that it was a bit more difficult for the President of America to travel than you and me. The President has continued to focus on the immigration issue. It was something he ran on, but what we know is that every single issue that the President has run on, he has put resources and time into addressing it. We know that immigration is a problem he didn’t create. He will continue to push for comprehensive immigration reform through Congress and the White House. Our problems with immigration have been a problem for decades.

MARGARET BRENAN: It’s all right. We’ll be watching. Keisha Lance Bottoms. Thank you for your time today.

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