As the migrant crisis at the southern border shows no sign of abating, and the Biden administration continues a bafflingly hands-off approach to the dilemma, a group of 56 House Republicans have requested that Vice President Kamala Harris be relieved of the role to which the president assigned her back in March, as Fox News reports.
Led by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), the lawmakers put their concerns to Biden in writing, saying, “Despite being in the midst of a border crisis this country has not seen in two decades, Vice President Harris has not yet shown adequate interest in observing this crisis-first hand.”
The legislators continued, “In the 85 days since the Vice President has been tasked with solving this crisis, she has yet to visit the border and meet with Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and local law enforcement officials.”
Earlier this year, President Biden announced that Harris would spearhead the administration’s response to the record-breaking influx of migrants surging to the country’s southern border, though it was not long before the White House and the vice president herself began reframing the role and suggesting that she was focused less on the practical effects of the arrivals on the ground than on the “root causes” of mass migration.
Though Harris has traveled to Mexico and Guatemala in recent weeks to discuss infrastructure investments, climate change, and other issues she believes are key drivers of northward migration, she has continued her stubborn refusal to pay an in-person visit to the southern border to survey the overcrowded detention facilities and strained law enforcement capacity resulting from the migrant wave.
Signatories to the letter requesting Harris’ removal from the border role explained their belief that even if there are underlying “root causes” playing a role in the current situation, “the exclusive focus on Central American countries ignores the fact that we see many migrants attempting to illegally cross our southern border from countries all over the world, including Russia, Brazil, Cuba and Haiti.”
They also declared, “We are also aware of no dramatic changes in Central American countries over the last few months that would result in such a wide gap of encounters at the southern border compared to last year,” as Fox News added.
It has not only been Republicans calling for Harris to take a more involved approach to the role she was given, as Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar recently called on the vice president to head south, saying, “I believe it is critical that you meet with local stakeholders and residents, consider their concerns, and use their lived experiences to implement more effective policies.”
In imploring Biden to replace Harris in this key role as soon as possible, the Republicans came to the conclusion that “This country cannot afford another minute of inaction from Vice President Harris,” and that is a sentiment which millions of their fellow Americans certainly agree.