Amid her stubborn refusal as the Biden administration’s point person on the migrant crisis to pay a personal visit to the nation’s southern border, Vice President Kamala Harris just received a specific and urgent request from a lawmaker in her own party to do just that, in a development which cannot have been welcome news.
As the Washington Examiner reports, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) sent a letter to Harris on Wednesday urging her to prioritize an in-person survey of conditions on the ground in his district, saying, “I write to invite you to the U.S. Southern Border to observe the ongoing humanitarian crisis and share the perspective of Americans who live there.”
According to Cuellar, the continued surge of migrants – including children and entire families – is only likely to grow in size as the administration pursues policies that permit the entry of some that would not have been allowed in during the previous leadership.
Cuellar explained that “the situation on the border will only worsen, as more migrants are expected to arrive,” and he argued that “The administration needs to take a proactive approach to create a sustainable system of humanitarian aid and relieve everyday Americans of that responsibility.”
Seemingly dismissing Harris’ own suggestion that for her to personally visit the southern border would amount to little more than a “gesture” with little practical effect, Cuellar added, “I have lived here my entire life and want to offer myself as a resource in solving these problems. 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.”
This is not the first time Cuellar has attempted to convey the importance of either Harris or President Joe Biden himself coming to the border, saying during an interview on MSNBC earlier this month that the nation’s leaders must “sit down” with local law enforcement, elected officials and business leaders in the border region, adding, “with all due respect, just coming and doing a staged visit is not enough.”
Cuellar’s comments join those of Republican legislators who have long urged Harris to take seriously her duties as the Biden administration’s point person on the migrant crisis, a role she was assigned by the president back in March.
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) earlier this month extended an invitation of his own to Harris, explaining, “The conditions that she saw at the border when she was a senator…have deteriorated as a result of the policies of this administration, and she needs to see that firsthand, adding, “Anyone who sees that will, in fact, make a decision that some of the policies implemented in the first 100 days of this administration need to be reversed.”
Though insiders have revealed that Harris’ reluctance to visit the border stems from her concerns about the negative impact such a connection could have on her future political aspirations, now that a fellow Democrat has put the spotlight on her absence, the vice president’s time for avoidance may be coming to a long overdue end.