'(Biden) created a humanitarian crisis down here at this border': Rep. Michael McCaul

Martha Raddatz interviews Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, on "This Week."
5:42 | 03/21/21

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Transcript for '(Biden) created a humanitarian crisis down here at this border': Rep. Michael McCaul
Let's get a response now from Texas congressman Michael Mccaul, on the foreign affairs committee. Great to see you. Thank you for joining us here. The administration has essentially as you heard, blamed trump policies for this. No, I think they've created the crisis. He says he has a plan. I haven't seen a plan. They talk about humane conditions, humanitarian. They have created a humanitarian crisis down here at this border that you have seen now, and the reason why they are coming is because he says words do matter, and they do. The messaging is that if you want to come, you can stay. When mayorkas says, we're not saying don't come at all, just don't come. Very irresponsible for the director of homeland security to say, and in his words, we have the greatest -- not crisis because he won't call it that, in 20 years. In this sector where I used to be a federal prosecutor, spiking 230% from last year, there is a direct cause and effect on the messaging, but then to do away, you know, politics aside, to do away with what was one of the most successful negotiated agreements with Mexico and Central America to remain in Mexico and apply for political asylum, but now they've created this crisis of children coming in. The traffickers are smart. Cartels are smart. They know our laws, policies, and this started right after the election, and in the last two months, we've seen a real surge. You've talked about the messaging clearly. What he was trying to do was have a stronger message and forget about what was said three weeks ago. Is that enough? They're clearly starting to change that messaging now even though word has not gotten out to Mexico across the border. I think it's too little, too late because traffickers know they can take children from Central America, extort the families, exploit the children on the dangerous journey back to the United States, and now, you know, they're calling back home saying, hey. We got in. So until this policy changes, I would urge the administration to revisit the migrant protection protocols. This worked, and it was very effective. I want to stop you there though. Human rights watch says because of that policy, they have consistently found that migrants in Mexico are exposed to rape, kidnapping, extortion, assault and psychological trauma. Nearly half of those interviewed said Mexican police, or criminal groups targeted them for extortion. How is that good policy? It deterred. Deterrence is the key here. Secretary mayorkas knows better -- It deterred, but it left people in Mexico in bad shape. It deterred them from leaving Central America. I talked to the ambassador for Guatemala. He said, my children were staying in my children. -- Country. What I worry about now is I have a generation leaving my country. We want to keep them here, so we want to work on private investments in Central America, and get to the root cause. This is a humanitarian crisis when you see the children and the babies. We're going back to separation of families, and the traffickers are separating the children from families and we're going back to catch and release, and we're going back to kids in cages all over again, and this is that thing that president trump and his policies with respect to remain in Mexico and central America had stopped. So is the solution here to do what Donald Trump did and build more of the wall? You know Joe Biden is not going to do that. No. So what do you suggest happens right now for your constituents in Texas especially? Well, I think I've always been a believer in technology. This stuff works in the high populated areas. That's, you know, that's Juarez over here. We're in El Paso. The technology between these points of entry and aviation as you saw yesterday, worked very effectively, and then we got to return to this political asylum issue, and have them apply in country of origin or in Mexico. If he changed it, he can call the program whatever he wants, brand it whatever he wants, but we have to go back to this policy. To opposed a measure that just passed a house that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the so-called dreamers. Why shouldn't undocumented children who were brought to this country as children, no fault of their own, be given some rights towards citizenship? Well, in my act we tried to pass -- we had the majority, had a legalization for the DACA kids, a legal path. We had a guessworker program as well, and unfortunately immigration is a very difficult topic, but the point is, Martha, neither one of those bills addressed this problem. It had nothing to do with this, and it won't solve this problem. In fact, again going back to deterrence and messaging, it sends the exact wrong message. So what do you think the next few weeks or months will look like? Will you look back on this and say, everything was solved? I was a federal prosecutor down here. Mayorkas knows better because he was too. It's going to get worse. It's going to get a lot worse springtime, summer, more and more come over. The message is coming back that, hey. We got a new president. Come on in. We're open for business to the traffickers, and guess what? They're right here, and I predict a million people trying to get into this country by the summertime. Okay. Thanks so much for joining us this morning, congressman. Always great to see you. Thanks for welcoming us to Texas. Thanks, Martha.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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