Rep. Tony Gonzales, whose Texas district includes 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, said the tactics used to deter illegal migration are “not acceptable,” but stopped short of criticizing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott has implemented floating barriers in the middle of the Rio Grande, as well as razor wire, to deter migrants from entering the U.S.  

In an internal complaint, a Texas state trooper raised concerns about the tactics, saying it put migrants, including young children, at risk of drowning and serious injury. The trooper also claimed Texas officials had been directed to withhold water and push them back into the river. In one instance, the trooper said he and his team rescued a woman who was stuck in the razor wire and having a miscarriage. 

“The border crisis has been anything but humane. I think you’re seeing the governor do everything he possibly can just to secure the border,” Gonzales, a Republican, told “Face the Nation” on Sunday. 

“I don’t think the buoys are the problem,” he said, noting that migrants were drowning long before the floating barriers were put in place. “The reality is the buoy is only a very small, little portion of the river.” 

When pressed on whether it was acceptable that migrants were being harmed by such measures, Gonzales said, “This is not acceptable. It’s not acceptable and it hasn’t been acceptable for two years.” 

The Biden administration has threatened to sue Texas if the barriers are not removed, saying it violates federal law and creates “serious risks” to public safety and the environment. But Abbott appeared unlikely to back down. 

“We will see you win court, Mr. President,” the governor tweeted on Friday. 

Gonzales called on Congress to step up and offer solutions. 

“I don’t want to see one person step one foot in the water and more or less have us talk about the discussion of some of these these inhumane situations that they’re put in,” he said. 

“We can’t just wait on the president to solve things. We can’t wait for governors to try and fix it themselves,” Gonzales said. “Congress has a role to play in this.” 

Gonzales recently introduced the HIRE Act to make it easier for migrants to obtain temporary work visas to address the workforce shortage. He said the Biden administration is “doing very little, if nothing to focus on legal immigration,” and he said he would “much rather” see a plan to deal with legal pathways than a focus on illegal entry to the U.S. 

“What do we do with the millions of people that are already here? What do we do with the millions of people that are coming here illegally? How do we prevent them from taking these dangerous trucks? One of those options is through work visas,” he said. 

But Gonzales wouldn’t say if he had confirmation from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy if the bill would ever be up for a vote on the House floor.