One Texas lawmaker has blasted the vice president’s excuse for not visiting the nation’s southern border.
Speaking Monday on the Fox News program “Fox & Friends,” Republican Rep. Troy Nehls accused Vice President Kamala Harris of using COVID-19 as an “excuse” to avoid the U.S.-Mexico border.
“[Coronavirus is] the excuse that this administration is going to use. And look at her,” Nehls said.
“She’s been jet-setting around this country, going to all the different blue states, talking about this infrastructure plan and everything else,” the congressman added. “This isn’t COVID, Kamala. And you know it.”
“You just don’t want to visit the southern border because you know what you’re going to hear,” he said. “You’re going to hear from the Border Patrol, Department of Public Safety, immigration, small-town mayors and everyone that lives along that southern border that you are doing a horrible job. You’re in complete denial and you need to fix the southern border. That’s what she would hear if she visited it. So she’s going to use the excuse like everything else.”
The vice president was tapped by President Joe Biden more than a month ago to oversee the nation’s response to the immigration surge, according to The Associated Press. Since then, Harris has yet to visit the southern border or hold a news conference on immigration.
During the same time, the vice president has visited California, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Illinois. The visits have largely focused on Biden’s new $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
Nehls’ accusations extended beyond Harris to Biden and Democrats in Congress. “They do not put the American people first. And I’ve said this several times,” he said.
The congressman added, “I said we must put America first. But they added a word into it. They’re putting Central America first.”
Other GOP leaders have also criticized Harris’ failure to visit the nation’s southern border. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich formally invited the vice president in early April to visit the southern border of his state to experience the impact of Biden’s changed immigration policies firsthand, Fox News reported.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and a team of GOP House members visited unaccompanied minor camps in Texas in March. McCarthy criticized the conditions, saying, “It’s more than a crisis. This is a human heartbreak,” according to ABC News.
WATCH: Kamala Harris says of Biden's border crisis, we’re putting Central America "at the center of everything we do."
Too bad they aren’t doing the same for American citizens: pic.twitter.com/nqfBuCu8xo
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) April 26, 2021
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott have also invited Harris to visit the border and the migrant detention facilities, according to The Daily Wire. The governors have argued that unaccompanied minors are being housed in overcrowded conditions.
The White House has emphasized Harris’ role is to address root causes of migration. Instead of visiting the border, she is planning visits to Mexico and Guatemala and has conducted virtual calls with the leaders of Honduras and Guatemala.
The vice president told CNN on Sunday she can’t travel to Central America “soon enough,” according to the New York Post.
“And we have a plan to actually have another meeting coming up soon. We’re working on the plan to get there. We have to deal with COVID issues, but I can’t get there soon enough, in terms of personally getting there,” she said.