Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey slammed President Joe Biden for making Vice President Kamala Harris, who has compared Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the Ku Klux Klan and called for the decriminalization of illegal immigration, the new point person on the immigration crisis.
“At no point in her career has [Harris] given any indication that she considers the border a problem or a serious threat,” Ducey said on Wednesday, according to AZCentral. “If President Biden’s intent was to show that he’s taking this issue seriously, he’s really done the exact opposite.”
Biden announced this week that Harris would be leading his administration’s efforts to address the surge of migrants, including thousands of unaccompanied minors, at the border.
“When she speaks, she speaks for me,” Biden said of the vice president.
Harris will also serve as the administration’s diplomatic liaison in talks with Mexico and Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, Biden announced on Thursday.
She will work with “the countries that need help in stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border,” Biden explained.
“I look forward to engaging in diplomacy with government, with private sector, with civil society and the leaders of each in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, to strengthen democracy and the rule of law, and ensure shared prosperity in the region,” Harris said in a statement.
But Harris’s record proves she’s “the worst possible choice” to take the lead on this issue, Ducey said.
When she campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination, Harris said she would favor decriminalizing illegal immigration.
She later walked that back but did say she would “not make it a crime punishable by jail.”
“It should be a civil enforcement issue but not a criminal enforcement issue,” she told The View.
She also attempted to convince former Immigrations and Customs Enforcement acting Director Ronald Vitiello to compare the agency to the KKK in 2018.
“Are you aware of the perception of many about how the power and the discretion at ICE is being used to enforce the laws and do you see any parallels [with the KKK]?,” she said.
“Are you aware that there is a perception that ICE is administering its power in a way that is causing fear and intimidation, particularly among immigrants and specifically among immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America?” she continued.
Biden had “completely trivialized the issue by putting someone in charge who flat out just doesn’t care,” Ducey said.
Biden has come under heavy criticism for the way he has handled the border crisis.
Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have flooded the southern border in recent weeks, leading at least one Arizona border town to declare a state of emergency, and several other government officials to demand that Biden take action.
“I’ve been governor under three presidents, and this is by far the worst situation we’ve seen,” Ducey said. “Washington has never been more out of touch, and it starts at the top.”
Biden is “totally divorced from the reality on the ground,” Ducey contended.
“If he wanted to actually fix the problem, Biden would have chosen someone with more “experience or some passion,” he said.