“Yesterday, [Harris] sat down with [Lester Holt] to discuss the situation at the border. I want to re-extend my invitation to Vice President Harris and President Biden to come down to Laredo and visit the border,” Cuellar wrote in a social media post.
In the interview, Harris had indicated that she would visit the southern border “at some point” and that the border crisis is an important issue that should be handled.
“At some point. We are going to the border. We’ve been to the border. So, this whole, this whole, this whole thing about the border. We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border,” Harris had said in reply to Holt’s question about when a border visit would happen.
“You haven’t been to the border,” Holt emphasized.
“And I haven’t been to Europe. I mean, I don’t, I don’t understand the point that you’re making,” Harris responded.
Cuellar — a Democrat who represents a district that includes the border counties of Webb, Zapata, and Starr — reportedly thanked Harris for directing potential illegal immigrants not to travel to the U.S.
However, he joined U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in his criticism of her failing to prioritize a trip to the border, saying “we need to couple that with some action and some repercussions.”
“Somebody needs to listen to our local communities,” Cuellar said, according to Politico. “With all due respect, just coming and doing a staged visit is not enough. They have to understand.”
Harris took a hardline stance against illegal immigration from Guatemala and the surrounding area when she visited the country earlier this week, though her opponents have criticized her for declining to physically go to the border as many members of the U.S. Congress have done.
Webb, Zapata, and Starr Counties are in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo border patrol sectors, which in May saw a combined 62,876 enforcement encounters with illegal aliens, including unaccompanied children, according to the most recent figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
This is a developing story.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."