“If Vice President Harris truly wanted to assess the situation at the border, she’d head to McAllen and sites along the Rio Grande Valley,” a senior border official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Fox News. “It will be worth seeing if this trip extends beyond a rubber stamp of ‘I visited the border.’”
Tom Homan, former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chief, said Harris “needs to go to the epicenter of this crisis.”
“Instead of going there and talking to the men and women dealing with that crisis and taking care of thousands of unaccompanied children, she picks El Paso because she doesn’t want to see the devastation that her administration’s policies have caused,” he said.
“Now, El Paso, is seeing a rise in crossings, absolutely a rise in drug crossings, but when you look at the crisis, why would you not go to the epicenter and talk to the men and women of Border Patrol and see what’s going on?” Homan noted separately in a Friday interview on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
A Border Patrol who insisted on anonymity told Fox News he was “not surprised” Harris took so long to visit the border. “I’m not surprised. She doesn’t think this is a problem.”
Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff pointed out that Harris’ trip to El Paso allows her to avoid harder-hit areas in the Rio Grande Valley, where even Democratic officials have been critical of the Biden administration’s response to the border crisis.
The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector has been especially hard hit by the crisis.
Border Patrol agents in that sector are seeing a significant increase in large groups of migrants hitting the border, with more groups in fiscal year 2021 already matching the number encountered in the past two years combined.
“With 3 months remaining in the fiscal year, RGV has already matched the total number of large groups apprehended in the previous two fiscal years combined,” RGV Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings tweeted Monday.
Brooke Singman and Adam Shaw contributed reporting.