WASHINGTON — Heritage Foundation immigration experts and former Department of Homeland Security leaders Chad Wolf, Mark Morgan, and Lora Ries released statements Friday on Vice President Kamala Harris’ first trip to the southern border to see the Biden border crisis firsthand, more than 90 days after being appointed by President Joe Biden as the point person on the crisis:
Chad Wolf, former acting DHS secretary: “Vice President Harris should have visited the border months ago. She owed it to the law enforcement officers of the Border Patrol and the communities along the border that have been hit with the historic crisis created by this administration. It has been more than 90 days since she was put in charge of addressing the border crisis. During those three months, she has adamantly refused to go to the border and meet with the men and women of DHS law enforcement and see the border crisis firsthand. She has even mocked the idea, and compared going to the border to going to Europe. While it’s certainly positive that she is taking this step, I am disappointed that she is not going to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) – the very epicenter of this crisis. Instead, she is going to El Paso, a metropolitan area 800-1,000 miles away from the RGV. Hopefully, Harris’ trip will be a working visit, not just border security tourism.”
Mark Morgan, former acting CBP commissioner: “Since being appointed to fix Biden’s border crisis, Vice President Harris has done everything she possibly can to distance herself from the crisis, hiding behind terms like ‘root causes’ to escape scrutiny and criticism for her boss’ open-borders agenda. It’s sad that it took former President Donald Trump’s announcing a visit to the border himself—presenting the Biden administration with an optics nightmare—to finally force Harris to visit the border. Not surprisingly, she’s intentionally staying clear of the Rio Grande Valley area, the current epicenter of the southwest border crisis, where they have experienced more than 270,000 apprehensions this fiscal year. We know this trip is nothing more than a political stunt, rather than a substantive action designed to solicit open and honest feedback from Border Patrol agents who are dealing with the crisis Harris and her chief architect, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, have created. Given this week’s shameful ousting of Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott, an accomplished 29-year career veteran of the agency, for having the courage to speak his mind and oppose certain radical policies advanced by Biden’s DHS, it’s clear they have no intentions of securing our borders. This visit is an effort to impact optics and get a few good photo-ops, rather than drive any meaningful policies addressing the national security crisis at our border -- a crisis jeopardizing every town, city, and state in our great nation.”
Lora Ries, former acting DHS deputy chief of staff: “It’s astounding that it has taken Vice President Harris this long to travel to the border to see the Biden border catastrophe firsthand, but her sudden scramble to get to the border is a situation of her own making. One wonders if her boss, President Biden, the man ultimately responsible for this border crisis, will also ever go to the border. And will Harris herself now make multiple trips to the border, including to the areas hardest hit by the surge, like the Rio Grande Valley? That’s an easy way to determine whether Harris is making this trip simply to stop the consistent coverage of her notable absence. Ultimately, however, even if Harris and Biden make a dozen trips, the crisis will continue until they end the open-borders policies that have created the crisis in the first place.”
For more information on the Biden border crisis, visit Heritage’s resource at TheBidenBorderCrisis.com. The website chronicles in one place the various actions the Biden administration has taken to open America’s southern border, undermine the rule of law, and mislead Americans about what is happening at the border.