Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called Vice President Kamala Harris’ border response “embarrassing" because Harris has yet to visit the U.S.-Mexico border since being appointed “border czar” on March 24.
“This is embarrassing,” Haley, the former South Carolina governor, said on Fox News’ “America Reports” during a Tuesday interview, discussing Harris' travel to Guatemala and Mexico.
“I don’t know what the problem is,” the Republican continued. “Clearly, she’s fearful, but Kamala Harris was given one job, one job, and that was to deal with the border. And any leader knows you can’t fix what you can’t see. She hasn’t been on the ground. She hasn’t talked to border patrol. She doesn’t know what is happening there.”
Since the vice president has received criticism for not visiting the border, NBC’s Lester Holt interviewed Harris on Tuesday about whether she has plans to visit the southern border.
“Do you have any plans to visit the border?” Holt asked her.
“At some point,” Harris said as she threw her hands into the air.
“We are going to the border. We’ve been to the border, so this whole thing about the border, we’ve been to the border. We’ve been [to] the border,” she added, referring to other Biden administration officials.
“You haven’t been to the border,” Holt responded.
“And I haven’t been to Europe,” Harris said as she appeared frustrated by the question. “I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the border … I care about what’s happening at the border.”
Haley criticized Harris for dodging the question about visiting the border by bringing up Europe.
“So she says she wants to go to the root cause, and then she brings up Europe,” Haley said. “No one has given her the job of Europe. She got the job of the border.”
Haley said she appreciates that Harris traveled to Guatemala and Mexico recently because both countries’ leaders have blamed the Biden administration as "the reason they are having all these problems at the border."
Haley noted how Harris’ tone on immigration has changed since she originally implored immigrants to come to the U.S. but now says, “do not come.”
“This is the same woman that literally tweeted out, ‘come one, come all, we’re open for everyone.’ … Now she says, ‘do not come.’ Do you know what says ‘do not come?’ When you show up at the border and you really have actions speak louder than words,” Haley explained.
“I don’t know what her fear is of the border, but clearly she has one,” she continued. “And I don’t know what Biden’s fear of the border is, but he has one. What I will call it is flat-out denial. They think that if they don’t go, it won’t be real. It’s very real.”
At a press conference in Guatemala City, Harris said, “I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making the dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border — do not come, do not come," Harris said.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended Harris during a press briefing Tuesday and said she might visit the border “at some point.”
“I don’t have any trips to preview for you or predict a timeline for that,” Psaki said. “But what I would reiterate is that her assignment was to work with country or leaders in the Northern Triangle to address root causes, address corruption, ensure we’re working together to address humanitarian concerns.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted on Tuesday that Biden and Harris could “could fix the border crisis tomorrow by ending ‘catch and release’ and by reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy."
"But neither Kamala or Joe are willing to do that," he said.
Cruz noted how Harris “laughs it off” when asked about the border.
“We don’t have a border crisis in Europe,” Cruz said during a Fox News interview, referring to Harris’ recent comment.
“We have a border crisis on the southern border,” Cruz said. “Come to Texas. Come to the Rio Grande Valley. Come to McAllen. Come see the cages that the Biden Harris administration has built and then, even more importantly, stand up and be willing to enforce our laws to fix it because that’s not what they’re doing right now.”
Preliminary Customs and Border Protection data shows that the surge of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico southern border in the fiscal year 2021 has surpassed the totals of every year since 2006 with four months left, Axios reported.
The U.S. formally ended the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” policy last week. This policy required Central American asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico and wait for their asylum cases to be adjudicated in the U.S., Reuters reported.
The Biden administration has reversed many of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and halted border wall construction.
The Biden administration said it might file a lawsuit against Texas since Gov. Greg Abbott mandated that state licenses be pulled for shelters used to house unaccompanied minors who cross the border.
A Monday letter from the Department of Health & Human Services, the federal agency responsible for caring for the unaccompanied minors, said that Texas would be violating immigration law by banning the shelters.
Abbott said HHS's letter is pressure from the White House to support its immigration policies.
“The Biden administration is yet again pressuring Texas to aid its illegal immigration program and force our state to do its job,” Abbott said in a statement. “The federal government caused this problem and should be solely responsible for the care of these children. No child will be uncared for. Texas will remain focused on doing our job—protecting Texans.”
Emily Wood is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: email@example.com