Criminal JusticeFederalImmigration & BorderIssuesHarris Will Visit El Paso Area, Abbott Says Vice President ‘Ignoring the Real Problem Areas’

Vice President Kamala Harris has been criticized for declining to visit the southern border since being appointed "border czar."
June 25, 2021
The White House has reportedly confirmed that Vice President Kamala Harris will visit El Paso on Friday after facing criticism for declining to visit the southern border since President Joe Biden delegated immigration policy to Harris in March.

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23), who is among a bipartisan group of lawmakers who have repeatedly warned the White House about the illegal immigration crisis, did not seem particularly impressed by the prospect.

“I have been urging the Vice President for months to come to my district to see the border crisis firsthand,” Gonzales said in a press release Tuesday. “Three months overdue, but here’s what she will see: Record number of apprehensions, counties pleading for more body bags, rising crime in our communities, and border patrol agents stretched to a breaking point.”

Gov. Greg Abbott, who has taken a number of steps to secure the border himself via state law enforcement and a state border wall project, suggested that Harris is focusing on the wrong area.

“Vice President Harris is ignoring the real problem areas along our southern border that are not protected by the border wall and are being overrun by the federal government’s ill-thought-out open border policies,” Abbott said in a press release. “She will fail in her mission if she refuses to speak to residents of the Del Rio sector whose homes and ranches are being overrun by gangs and smugglers.”

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The governor also touted part of the state’s response to illegal immigration, Operation Lone Star, and indicated the project has resulted in the apprehension of 41,000 illegal aliens, 1,700 criminals, and an amount of fentanyl that is lethal enough to cause the deaths of 21 million individuals.

Amid the illegal immigration disaster, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has warned that individuals are continuing to engage in the “dangerous practice” of hiding themselves in empty grain hopper railcars as part of their illegal excursions into the United States.

Recent examples include 15 Mexican nationals found in a grain hopper railcar in the Laredo border patrol sector and another reported group of 25 Mexican and Honduran illegal aliens who hid on a train to travel to San Antonio.

“This dangerous method of traveling further into the United States after illegal entry is strongly discouraged as it often results in serious injury or death,” CBP said in a press statement Tuesday. “Many times, migrants choose this grueling method of transportation without realizing the consequences of their actions until it is too late.”

In the Del Rio border patrol sector’s Uvalde Station, there has been more than a 900 percent increase in the number of “subjects found hiding on trains” as compared to the same time last year, according to border patrol officials.

Echoing warnings by Harris in her recent visit to Guatemala, the border patrol agency said, “For anyone who is thinking of entering the United States illegally along the Southern Border, the message [is] simple: don’t do it.”


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Hayden Sparks

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."