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House Minority Whip Steve Scalise took aim at Vice President Kamala Harris for not visiting the southern border amid the ongoing migrant crisis on Wednesday, bringing a milk carton with a photo of the border czar’s face on it to the House GOP’s leadership press conference.
The milk carton showed a photo of the Vice President and border “point person,” with block text saying, “MISSING AT THE BORDER.”
Harris has come under fire from top Republicans who have argued the administration has not taken the surge of migrants — including thousands of unaccompanied minors — seriously enough, casting blame on the Biden administration’s policies for the influx of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country in recent months.
Scalise, who recently led a group of GOP lawmakers on a border trip, noted the overcrowding of facilities and abuses some migrant children have faced while attempting to enter the country, calling on both Biden and Harris to tour the facilities.
“Here you’ve got the federal government running a facility with holding cells over 1,000 percent above capacity, where the government would shut somebody down if they were doing this in the private industry, the federal government is doing this to these young kids. It’s the definition, if you read Texas’ law on child abuse and neglect, that’s what’s happening in that federal facility,” he said.
“It’s a national disgrace and President Biden puts Kamala Harris in charge of it, and she refuses to go down — maybe because she doesn’t want to be associated with this disgraceful policy. But, if she’s the vice president of the United States and the president put her in charge of this, vice president Harris needs to go down to the border and see this for herself, because maybe she would then encourage President Biden to reverse his policies that have failed.”
The criticism of Harris come as she is expected to travel to Mexico and Guatemala, but has no scheduled trips to the border state.
“The president has asked [Homeland Security] Sec. [Alejandro] Mayorkas to address what is going on at the border,” she said on Wednesday when asked if she had plans to visit the border, “I have been asked to address the root causes, similar to what” President Biden handled as VP.”
Republicans have repeatedly called on the administration to reverse its ban on the continuation of building the border wall and for the reinstatement of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.
The Biden administration’s undoing of former President Donald Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that President Biden is inviting them to cross the border.
Insisting that the border was not facing a crisis, Mayorkas said in early March that the problems the agency faced should be blamed on the previous administration.
The data, however, overwhelmingly shows that migrants were flooding the border because they believed Biden would welcome them with open arms.
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