Amid an immigration crisis at the U.S.–Mexico border, the Biden administration is facing increased backlash from the GOP over policies believed to be exacerbating the situation. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who was tasked with taking a lead role in addressing the issue earlier this year, are also being criticized for their reticence to visit the border in person.
This week, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed both leaders for their absence from the site of an ongoing surge in illegal immigration, the Washington Examiner reported.
“That is a 674% increase”
The Texas Republican chastised the president for staging a European trip without visiting the border and accused Harris of going “everywhere else except” the place he said she is needed most.
In his remarks, Cruz referred to Biden’s recently concluded whirlwind visit to Europe, where he attended the G-7 summit, meetings with NATO and the European Union, and a bilateral talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For her part, the vice president traveled to Guatemala and Mexico earlier this month but skipped a visit to the U.S. southern border.
During a Senate committee hearing on immigration, Cruz focused on the “stunning” increase in illegal border crossings since Biden’s inauguration.
“In the last month, [Customs and Border Protection] agents encountered 180,034 illegal immigrants crossing the border,” he said, according to reports. “That is a 674% increase from last May.”
“Where were we last year?”
According to the senator, America is “on path to have over 2 million people cross the border illegally this year,” which he said would be the highest rate in two decades.
“Where were we last year?” Cruz asked. “Last year, we had the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years.”
Turning the focus to his Democratic colleagues, he continued: “Why haven’t you gone down to the border? Joe Biden refuses to go to the border. Kamala Harris refuses to go to the border. Indeed, Kamala Harris seems to go everywhere else except our southern border.”
Cruz portrayed Democrats as willfully ignorant of the situation, concluded that “they know if they go to the border, the TV cameras will come with them, and they have no answer for this humanitarian crisis that is playing out.”
Although like-minded Republicans likely saw his rant as righteous and justified, it almost certainly fell on deaf ears among Democrats who have made it clear that they have no interest in gaining a first-hand perspective of the border problem.