Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) blasted Vice President Kamala Harris for refusing to pay a visit to the southern border in order to see firsthand the ever-growing man-made crisis, characterizing her “avoidance” to announce her first upcoming international trip scheduled for next month to the Northern Triangle countries doesn’t count if she is “flying over the border at 35,000 feet.”
“Flying over the border at 35,000 feet doesn’t count as a visit. Now, 123 days since taking office, it’s shocking to see the lengths to which President Biden and Vice President Harris will go to avoid seeing the border crisis for themselves. Apprehensions at the border rose above 178,000 in April alone, nearly 6,000 a day. This is about the safety of American families. We must secure the border now,” Scott said in a statement Monday evening.
“While I welcome cooperation with Guatemala and Mexico, Biden and Harris have still not acknowledged the humanitarian and national security chaos their policies have created here in America. They still refuse to actually go to the U.S. southern border, hear from our brave Customs and Border Protection agents and see the U.S. side of this crisis that their failed amnesty and open borders policies have created. It’s time for Harris and Biden to get down to the U.S. border and provide answers to the American people.” Scott added.
The flow of migrants surges continues to overwhelm authorities at the southern border. For the month of April, Customs and Border Patrol recorded a 21-year high with arrests and detentions as the total border apprehensions continued to climb last month to 178,622, with a total for FY 2021 hitting almost 750,000. CBP projected when it comes to unaccompanied minors that 184,000 minors will cross the U.S. border just in the fiscal year 2021. According to CBP data based on the numbers of March, the Biden administration is projecting the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border that has already overwhelmed detention facilities will continue to spiral over the next six months, with numbers projected to smash records every month.
Despite the influx of migrants, President Biden continues claiming that his administration has “gotten control” of the border crisis he helped create. Biden’s decision in unraveling many of Trump-era border policies by ending the construction of southern border wall and immediately suspending the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy would become a welcoming call for migrants who waited a long time to cross the border, including thousands of unaccompanied minors.
During a Senate hearing with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas almost two weeks ago, Scott asked if he was “disappointed” that Harris hasn’t visited the border. Mayorkas responded “absolutely not,” explaining it was not part of Harris’ job and he was tasked with doing this role as the head of Homeland.
Harris, who still hasn’t paid a visit to the southern border since being appointed the border czar nearly two months ago, has traveled extensively across the United States but for other issues unrelated to the border crisis. The Vice President confirmed earlier this month that she would finally make the trip down to Mexico and Guatemala on June 7-8, as part of her new White House role in combat the “root causes” of the surge of migrants crossing the southern border, but said she has no immediate plans to visit the border itself.
However, back in 2018, as a California senator, Harris had no problems making a visit down to the San Diego border with Mexico to protest former President Trump’s “zero-tolerance immigration policy.”
“I spoke with the mothers who are there, and my heart is broken,” she told protesters who held signs with slogans including “Abolish ICE” outside the Otay Mesa Detention Center in June of 2018. “These mothers in there think that they are alone. We need to remind them and everyone else that they are not alone and that we all stand with them.”
Last week, Scott announced his intention to hold Biden’s DHS nominees from “mov[ing] forward” in the Senate floor until Biden “decides to care about the safety” of Border Patrol agents and “actually gets down to the border to see his crisis firsthand.”
“Until Biden decides to care about the safety of the American people and Border Patrol agents on the frontlines (southern border), and actually gets down to the border to see his crisis firsthand, I will do everything in my power to hold Biden’s DHS nominees on the Senate floor,” Scott said in a statement last Thursday. “Apprehensions at the border have reached over 178,000 in April alone, nearly 6,000 a day. If Biden refuses to help those risking their lives every day to keep us safe and put an end to a humanitarian crisis he has recklessly created, I can’t allow his nominees to move forward in an expedited fashion. His crisis can no longer be ignored. The American people deserve accountability and to know that our country is secure and our families are being protected. I won’t accept anything less.”
Harris has now gone 62 days without holding any formal press conference focusing on her role addressing the border crisis issue since being tasked with the border czar in March. Since being tasked with this role, Harris has spoken twice with Guatemalan and Mexican Presidents. She has yet to spoke or held a virtual meeting with either Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández or El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele.