(The Center Square, ) With growing concerns about the border crisis and alleged human and drug smuggling there, 56 House Republicans called on President Joe Biden to relieve Vice President Kamala Harris of the responsibility.
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
Biden tasked Harris with overseeing the border crisis earlier this year but immediately faced resistance, appearing at times to be outright defiance over the political hot-potato.
The apparent friction has led some to speculate that Biden, or First Lady Jill Biden, could have intentionally set up Harris for the quagmire.
Neither Biden nor Harris has visited the southern border, nor have they visited any border states after more than a million people have been apprehended for entering the U.S. illegally since January.
Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wisc., and 55 other House Republicans demanded Harris be removed, citing recently released Customs and Border Protection data. In May alone, roughly 180,000 people were apprehended, representing a thousand-fold increase over last year.
“The Vice President still hasn’t visited the border,” Grothman tweeted. “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 Biden demanding her removal from this position because 180,000 encounters, a 21-year high, is unacceptable.”
In the letter, the lawmakers write, “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. 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.”
Harris recently visited Mexico and Guatemala, arguing the “root causes” of illegal immigration should be addressed.
In response to questions from reporters about why she hasn’t visited the border, she said, “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 when she was a U.S. senator.