Marsha Blackburn: ‘Because the border is wide open every town is a border town’
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., calls the crisis ‘out of control’ as October border apprehensions spiked 128%.
A Texas Democrat who represents an area along the southern border said Wednesday morning he has had enough of Vice President Kamala Harris as “border czar” and is calling for her replacement.
“I’ve moved on from the vice president to say, ‘OK, let’s work with the ambassadors and let’s work with the State Department. Let’s work with the Homeland Secretary,'” Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, who represents Texas’ 28th district that stretches from San Antonio, to Laredo, to Rio Grande City, according to the Washington Examiner.
“I think that’s the way to address it, but I know that the media has put a lot of focus on the vice president, but with all due respect, she was given that title. I don’t think she’s, with all due respect, put the effort in there…We’ve got to look at other folks that have the expertise on that,” Cuellar added.
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 30: U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) speaks on southern border security and illegal immigration, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. Cuellar urged the Biden administration to name former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson as a border czar. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Harris was named the Biden administration’s Border Czar in late March as illegal immigrants were surging across the border in what Republicans said amounted to a humanitarian crisis. Harris immediately drew criticism for taking several months to visit the border and has only been there once since being tapped with the role.
So far in Fiscal Year 2022, the RGV sector has seen more than 65,000 migrant encounters to date, a 161% increase over the same period last year. In nearby Del Rio Sector, there has been a 236% increase in encounters over the same period last year. There have so far been 6,500 known gotaways in the sector alone.
US Vice President Kamala Harris talks to reporters after arriving at El Paso International Airport, on June 25, 2021 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
The Biden administration has been tackling a massive crisis at the southern border since shortly after it came into office. More than 1.7 million migrants were encountered in Fiscal Year 2021, and more than 192,000 migrants were encountered in September alone. Biden rescinded border security policies enacted by the previous administration via executive order during his first days in office.
The number of migrants apprehended at the U.S. southern border in October surged 128% from the same time last year, according to data released Monday by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
CBP data showed 164,303 migrant encounters along the southern border in October, a rate that has skyrocketed since October 2020, when there were 71,929 apprehensions.
CIUDAD ACUNA, MEXICO – SEPTEMBER 20: Mounted U.S. Border Patrol agents watch Haitian immigrants on the bank of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas on September 20, 2021 as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. As U.S. immigration authorities began deporting immigrants back to Haiti from Del Rio, thousands more waited in a camp under an international bridge in Del Rio while others crossed the river back into Mexico to avoid deportation. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
((Photo by John Moore/Getty Images))
In addition to criticism Harris has faced about the migrant surge at the southern border, the vice president has had to deal with plummeting poll numbers including data from earlier this month showing her with a 27.8% approval rating with 51.2% disapproving of her tenure in the White House. Biden named Harris his point person on the border months ago, but thus far Harris has only visited El Paso, Texas, which has a border wall, and is 800 miles from the Rio Grande Valley, which has seen the most illegal border crossings.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Jon Brown, and Bill Melugin contributed to this report
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