More than 50 House GOP lawmakers called on President Joe Biden to relieve Vice President Kamala Harris of her duties in handling the U.S.–Mexico border crisis.
The Republicans, as they have done for months, noted that Harris hasn’t yet visited the border amid a surge in illegal immigration. Some Democratic lawmakers who represent areas along the border have also called on the vice president to take more action, including a visit to the area.
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) and 55 other Republicans in the House demanded Harris’s removal from her border assignment, citing recent Customs and Border Protection data that shows that 180,000 people were apprehended last month after crossing the border illegally.
“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 lawmakers wrote in their letter. “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.”
The @VP STILL hasn't visited the border. You can't truly know the situation until you speak with people on the ground. I and 55 of my colleagues sent this letter to @POTUS demanding her removal from this position because 180k encounters, a 21-year high, is unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/PJE0RpgTaV— Rep. Glenn Grothman (@RepGrothman) June 17, 2021
Harris has defended not going to the border and said she will visit the border sometime in the future.
When she visited Mexico and Guatemala this month, Harris said that the “root causes” of the illegal immigration problem should be addressed. However, her explanation to reporters in Mexico about why she hasn’t visited the border yet overshadowed her trip, saying that the White House is aiming to boost economic development in the region.
She told reporters: “It would be very easy to say, ‘We’ll travel to one place, and therefore it’s solved.’ I don’t think anybody thinks that that would be the solution.” When pressed about visiting the border again, Harris said she did so when she was a senator from California.