Over 50 House Republicans are urging Biden to dismiss Harris from her lead role in addressing the migrant crisis; conservative lawmakers are accusing Harris of “inaction” on the crisis that overwhelmed the Southern border in the past months.
The @VP STILL hasn't visited the border. You can't truly know the situation until you speak with people on the ground. I and 55 of my colleagues sent this letter to @POTUS demanding her removal from this position because 180k encounters, a 21-year high, is unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/PJE0RpgTaV
— Rep. Glenn Grothman (@RepGrothman) June 17, 2021
In the letter, 56 lawmakers wrote, saying that despite being in the middle of a border crisis the United States hasn’t experienced in the past two decades, the vice president hasn’t shown “adequate interest” in looking at the situation firsthand.
The lawmakers also added that 85 days passed since Biden called Harris to solve the ongoing crisis. Yet, she hasn’t attempted to visit the border. Nor even meet with local law enforcement officials, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, or Border Patrol agents dealing with the issue.
Harris’ visit to Guatemala and Mexico flocked with criticism
More than 80 days ago, Harris was appointed to lead in addressing the border crisis. However, the White House later clarified that she is tasked to address the “root causes” of the crisis. They added that it is not about the border per se. According to them, the “root causes” are climate change, poverty, and violence in Central America.
Then recently, Harris visited both Mexico and Guatemala, meeting with leaders of the country. She also announced a series of investments that the United States will make in both countries to address the so-called “root causes.” During Harris’ visit, she also urged migrants not to come to the border.
Both political parties criticized Harris’s visit to Guatemala and Mexico. They condemned her speech and her demeanor towards questions relating to visiting the border. On top of this, Harris also consistently avoided questions relating to her failure to visit the border. Yet, Harris called her trip a “success”.
The White House also clarified that the vice president is focused on diplomatic talks. She is not in charge of the border itself.
However, Republicans mentioned that it is still crucial for her to visit the border to fully understand the crisis and the ongoing surge of migrant encounters. In May alone, Border Patrol agents encountered over 180,000 migrants.
Meanwhile, Republicans blamed the Biden administration for the crisis. They mentioned that the administration’s reversal of border policies resulted in the surge of migrants. The reversal mainly involves the rollback of Trump-era policies. It includes the suspension of Migrant Protection Protocols and the construction of the border wall.
"They already made illegal immigration legal in the United States as far as ICE is concerned." Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan on the Biden Administration's reversal of Trump-era immigration policies at Secretary Blinken heads to Costa Rica to meet with foreign ministers pic.twitter.com/upFRJeFo1F
— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) June 1, 2021
GOP Lawmakers to President Biden
Moreover, the Republican lawmakers who wrote to Biden this week stated that even if the “root causes” are to blame for the surge, exclusive focus on the neighboring countries ignores that illegal migrants apprehended at the border come from all over the world. According to records, Border Patrol agents encountered migrants from Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and Russia.
They also added that over the last few months, there were no dramatic changes in Central American countries. The Republican lawmakers said that no evident cause happened in Central America that could be blamed for the surge. They added that the situation in these countries was the same as last year yet the surge of migrants is higher this year.
— GOP (@GOP) June 17, 2021
The lawmakers also criticized the Biden administration for ignoring the fact that their policies “enticed” migrants to cross the border.
In the letter to Biden, the lawmakers said that the country “cannot afford” another minute of inaction from Harris. They also urged the president to replace Harris as the point person for the crisis.