Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas voiced his disappointment in Vice President Kamala Harris for ignoring his calls regarding migration issues, The New York Times reported.
When Cuellar heard Harris would be traveling to the border in June, he phoned her office to offer help and advice for her visit, but he never received a call back, Cuellar told the NYT.
“I say this very respectfully to her: I moved on,” Cuellar said. “She was tasked with that job, it doesn’t look like she’s very interested in this, so we are going to move on to other folks that work on this issue.”
Rather than approach the vice president’s office, Cuellar said he would now go directly to the West Wing to voice his concerns, the NYT reported. “At least they talk to you,” Cuellar said of the White House.
Aides to Harris have emphasized her efforts to get countries and companies to join the U.S. in committing to a $1.2 billion investment toward expanding digital access, climate issues and economic opportunity in Central America, the NYT reported. Scant progress has been made in this area, however.
Illegal migration to the U.S. has surged over the past year, with critics of President Joe Biden blaming the situation on him. Biden repealed the “Remain in Mexico” policy put in place by the Trump administration, but he eventually decided to reinstate it.
Democratic California Rep. Karen Bass told the NYT that the White House needed to do a better job defending Harris due to the complexity of the issues she has been assigned, including migration and elections.
“What the White House could’ve done is been clearer with the expectations of what was supposed to happen under her watch,” Bass told the outlet.
“I know, and we all knew, that she would have a difficult time because anytime you’re a ‘first,’ you do,” she said. “And to be the first woman vice president, to be the first Black, Asian woman, that’s a triple. So we knew it was going to be rough, but it has been relentless, and I think extremely unfair.”
In June, Sen. Marco Rubio criticized Vice President Kamala Harris over her choice to visit the El Paso, Texas, border sector when she finally did make a border trip, saying that region was not the “epicenter” of the current migrant crisis.
“I don’t know why they chose El Paso. It’s not the epicenter of the crisis,” Rubio said in an interview with Fox News.
“It’s more closer to McAllen and areas of that nature. But I will say that, irrespective, I think what they’re going to see is what they created,” the Florida Republican and vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee continued.
Rubio said citizens in Central America and elsewhere had heard Biden and Harris, throughout the 2020 campaign, talk about loosening Trump’s policies if they won, which is why they have been coming in droves.
“Now, that migratory pressure has always been there, and I don’t care what anybody tells you, I don’t care what rhetoric you hear, I know people who have relatives in Central America and the message they got in November of last year and in January when Joe Biden was sworn in was, there’s a new administration, they’re going to do everything on immigration the opposite of Trump, there will be no wall,” he said.
“Some of the first actions they took were on immigration in terms of deferring the deportation of people who may have been in jail, also, the new asylum processes, getting rid of stay in Mexico policies,” Rubio continued.
“All of this sends a message and that is, things have changed, it’s going to be easier to get in and the trafficking networks took advantage of it.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation contributed to this report.