Several Texas mayors say they are fed up with the hyperpolarization over immigration as tensions between President Joe Biden and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continue to escalate and the border becomes an intractable political issue for both men. Texas leaders attending the United States Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC, said the partisan bickering between the state and the federal government will not help solve what they described as a true humanitarian crisis – and called on the Abbott and Biden administrations, as well as Congress, to put their heads together for a meaningful compromise and eventual solution. Biden is set to welcome the mayors’ conference to the White House on Friday. “Do I believe we have a crisis at the border? I do,” Mayor George Fuller of McKinney, the seat of Republican-leaning Collin County about 30 miles north of Dallas, told CNN. “I do believe that we have things that need to be done. We need to secure our border, certainly better than we have.” But, Fuller added, “I do think there’s a lot of political stunts right now that are being performed at the state level.” Tensions between Texas and the federal government have reached a boiling point in recent months, as state authorities placed razor wire along the US-Mexico border, hampered the access of federal law enforcement to border areas, and continued to transfer migrants from along the border to Democrat-controlled cities across the country. In Congress, negotiations over border security and immigration remain in an equally tense deadlock. Leading Republicans refuse to fund further aid for Ukraine’s war against Russia unless significant concessions are made on the border by the Biden administration. While recent talks have shown a glimmer of hope for progress, immigration policy has proved to be one of the most difficult issues on Capitol Hill in recent decades. The Department of Homeland Security on Sunday sent a cease-and-desist letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, saying the state’s actions “have impeded operations” and are unconstitutional. Last week, a woman and two children – all migrants from Mexico – drowned in a region near the border city of Eagle Pass where state authorities have hampered federal access, though it’s not yet clear whether that lack of access contributed to their deaths. Abbott has also tested the limits of the supremacy of federal authority enshrined in Article VI of the Constitution by signing a law in December that gives state law enforcement officials the authority to arrest migrants who have crossed the border illegally, even though immigration law and its enforcement falls under the purview of the federal government. The Biden administration filed a lawsuit earlier this month seeking to stop the implementation of that law. Fuller, whose position – along with all municipal offices in Texas, is officially nonpartisan – didn’t mention Abbott directly. But he said the only way out of the gridlock surrounding immigration is for officials to “stop the partisan b*llsh*t, [and] sit down and talk like human beings – reasonable people.” “It’s determined that if you sit from the right with the left, then that’s a treasonous act to your own partisan party,” he added. “At the end of the day, all our elected officials, all legislators, are voted in and elected to work for the American people; not for their next primary election, not for the next partisan advance they’re looking for.” Arlington Mayor Jim Ross, who identifies himself as an independent, called the standoff between the federal Border Patrol and Texas “ridiculous” and “a waste of time and money.” “We need to stop making it a political issue where we spend more damn time telling the other side how screwed up they are. … We will do a hell of a lot better if the Republicans and Democrats put their differences aside and just go to work,” Ross told CNN. Abbott has maintained he is using his powers as governor to fill a void in immigration enforcement along the border left by the Biden administration. Other mayors defended Abbott’s actions. But still, they said, it’s time for the border crisis to transcend politics. “I do believe that the governor of Texas is responding in the best way that he knows how. But it would be nice if we can find a way to not make this a partisan issue and make this a human issue,” Roy West, the mayor of the coastal city of Beaumont, said. Mayor Mattie Parker, who governs politically split Fort Worth but has a long history with the GOP, said, “There’s a lot of shots being fired from both sides.” “Of course,” she said, “no one wants to see … women and children that are unable to live in any kind of way that you and I would want our loved ones to live.” “I choose to believe in the end, that greater heads will prevail,” she said. “But then again, this is decades in the making, and it’s all coming to a head right now.” But at the same time, Parker said, Abbott has a responsibility to protect Texas’ own interests: “It’s unfortunate … but at this point, I think I understand why he’s having to take these actions.” Mayor John Cowen of Brownsville agreed, saying he thinks Abbott’s actions are “justified in that there is an issue at the border.” “It’s not a controlled process,” he said. “On all sides we need to be better.” Cowen is planning to attend the bipartisan meeting with mayors at the White House Friday and said if he gets a chance to speak with Biden, immigration would be “the number one area of concern that I have as a border city.” Asked if he agreed with Abbott installing new barriers, Mayor Ramiro Garza of the border city of Edinburg responded: “Well, no. The short answer is no.” “Obviously this is a federal issue,” Garza said. “I believe our state doesn’t have the kind of authority to do what they’re doing. But at the same time, I think the governor is doing this because obviously, there hasn’t been much done by both parties and the White House in terms of coming up with a comprehensive immigration solution to our challenges.” Garza said that mayors “don’t have the luxury to do a standoff, so we have to make decisions and compromise for our residents.” Javier Villalobos, the mayor of McAllen who spoke with CNN by phone, said he doesn’t agree with everything Abbott is doing – but also understands why he’s doing it. “I always say that [Abbott] should absolutely have nothing to do with federal issues and immigration. However, I also know that the federal system is not doing what they’re supposed to do,” he said. “So in a sense, I do applaud his efforts. … But he’s trying to do something that the federal government just isn’t and so I do agree with a lot of things he does,” Villalobos said. Congressional leaders met with Biden on Wednesday to discuss funding for border protections, which have become intertwined with additional security assistance for Ukraine as Republican leaders have steadfastly refused to provide more assistance for the country’s war against Russia unless significant immigration-related compromises are made by Biden and other Democrats. Biden has said he is willing to make concessions – to include immigration-related policy changes – in order to see the deal through. Leaders from both parties described the Wednesday meeting at the White House as productive. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reiterated that Biden is “willing to move forward on the border.” Biden himself seemed optimistic about the prospect of a deal. Asked by reporters about what’s holding up a compromise, Biden said on Thursday: “I don’t think we have any sticking points left.” But despite his comments, the obvious lack of a deal remains. Priscilla Alvarez and Arlette Saenz contributed to this report.