Days after Kamala Harris declared the southern border is secure, illegal immigrants who were dropped off Thursday morning at her vice presidential residence at the Naval Observatory insisted otherwise.
Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins asked one of the migrants: “Vice President Harris said that the border is closed. Is the border closed, or do you believe that it’s open?”
“It’s open, not closed,” the migrant said. “The border is open.”
The man was among more than 100 people from Colombia, Cuba, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela who were sent to the “sanctuary city” of Washington, D.C., by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott from Del Rio, Texas.
On Sunday, Harris, who has been designated by President Biden as his border czar, told Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “We have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration.”
In Jenkins’ interview Thursday with a migrant at the Naval Observatory, he asked if all of the migrants believe that the border is open.
“Everybody believes that the border is open,” the migrant replied. “It’s open because we enter. We come in, free, no problem.”
The Fox reporter clarified: “It’s open for you to come illegally, right?
“Illegally, yes, illegally,” the migrant said. “That’s true.”
Jenkins asked, “You came illegally?”
“Yeah, we came illegally. Not legal.”
Harris had no comment when asked Thursday after an event at the White House about the migrants dropped off at the Naval Observatory:
The buses arrived in Washington, D.C., hours after Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis fulfilled a similar promise to drop off illegal immigrants in progressive states. Florida sent two planes full of migrants Wednesday to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Abbott – arguing Texas border towns have been overwhelmed with the record influx of illegal immigrants after Biden canceled Trump administration policies – wants officials in the nation’s capital and New York City to face the realities of the border crisis.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, accusing the governors of heartlessly abandoning children, claimed Thursday the migrants were simply being left on the streets of Washington.
However, Fox News reported a representative from a non-profit called Sanctuary DMV arrived at the Naval Observatory and told the migrants they would be taken to a local church.
“We’ve already set up a church and a location — a safe location for them to tell us where they need to go next, where they have relatives,” said Carla Bustillos of Sanctuary DMV.
‘Ignoring and denying the historic crisis’
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser – who made the nation’s capital a sanctuary city for illegal aliens in 2016 – has declared a public emergency, allowing the city to fund temporary accommodations.
Brianne Nadeau, a member of the D.C. council, told reporters “the governors of Texas and Arizona have created this crisis.”
“And, the federal government has not stepped up to assist the District of Columbia,” she said. “So we, along with our regional partners, we’ll do what we’ve always done. We’ll rise to the occasion.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio tweeted Thursday: “It’s strange how proponents of ‘sanctuary cities’ get so mad when border governors send illegal immigrants to ‘sanctuary cities.'”
In a statement Thursday, Abbott said “the Biden-Harris Administration continues ignoring and denying the historic crisis at our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed Texas communities for almost two years.
“Our supposed Border Czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, has yet to even visit the border to see firsthand the impact of the open border policies she has helped implement, even going so far as to claim the border is ‘secure,'” he said. “Texas will continue sending migrants to sanctuary cities like Washington, D.C. until President Biden and Border Czar Harris step up and do their jobs to secure the border.”
In April, Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to charter buses to transport migrants from Texas to Washington, D.C. In August, the governor added sanctuary cities New York City and Chicago as additional drop-off locations. The governor’s office said that since the spring, more than 10,000 migrants have been transported to sanctuary cities “while providing much-needed relief to Texas’ overwhelmed border communities.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters the federal government needs to “step up” and provide support to “interior cities” to meet this “new challenge” of illegal immigration.
Martha’s Vineyard and the Holocaust
Progressives on Twitter called the actions of Abbott and DeSantis to address the illegal immigration crisis immoral, asking how they could call themselves Christians.
On CNN, host John Berman and filmmaker Ken Burns compared the decision to ship migrants to Martha’s Vineyard to the Holocaust.
The conversation turned to DeSantis after a discussion about Burns’ new documentary, “The U.S. and the Holocaust.”
“We woke up to the news this morning that Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida sent two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, including kids and whatnot. This is not a one-for-one, this is not a parallel here in any way, but it does address some of the same themes that are part of this documentary,” Berman said.
Burns said it’s “the abstraction of human life.”
“This is coming straight out of the authoritarian playbook. This is what’s so disturbing about DeSantis, to use human beings, to weaponize human beings for a political purpose,” the filmmaker said.
They will need to go somewhere else
One tweet pointed to acts of kindness by Martha’s Vineyard residents who welcomed the migrants, insisting they were “behaving more like Christians than those who profess to be Christian,” referring to Republican leaders.
However, Martha’s Vineyard resident interviewed by local television said the migrants eventually will need to leave the tiny island community, where Barack and Michelle Obama own a $12 million, 6,900-square-foot, waterfront vacation home with seven bedrooms and eight and a half bathrooms.
“At some point in time they have to move to somewhere else,” she said.
DeSantis, charging Biden “hasn’t lifted a finger” to address the border crisis, said Thursday that Florida is not a “sanctuary state,” and it’s better for the illegal migrants to go to a “sanctuary jurisdiction.”
“And, yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you, to be able to go to greener pastures,” he said.
The governor recalled Biden’s campaign to transport illegal migrants by air “in the middle of the night” and “dump them all across this country.”
“There was no warning on any of this,” he said.
“And all those people in Washington, D.C., and New York were beating their chests when Trump was president, saying they were so proud to be sanctuary jurisdictions, saying how bad it was to have a secure border, ” he said.
“The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they all of a sudden go berserk, and they’re so upset that this is happening.
“And it just goes to show you that their virtue signaling is a fraud.”
Yes, we think the border is secure
During the daily briefing at the White House, Jean-Pierre was asked if the White House stands by Harris’ statement that the border is secure.
“What we stand by is that we are doing everything that we can to make sure that, that, we follow the process that’s been put forth,” she replied. “That’s why we have, uh, historic funding to do just that, to make sure that, um, uh, you know, uh, um, uh, to make sure that, um, uh, to make sure that the folks we encounter at the border be removed, or expelled.”
More than 4.9 million illegal aliens have crossed the U.S. border illegally since Biden took office, including an estimated 900,000 “gotaways” who have disappeared into American communities, according to an analysis of government data by FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
From July 2021 to July 2022, there were about 2.4 million illegal border crossings met by U.S. border officials. In contrast, under President Trump’s policies, such as Remain in Mexico, there were a little more than 626,000 such crossings from January 2020 to January 2021.
Biden, on his first day in office, eliminated the Remain in Mexico policy – which kept asylum seekers in Mexico as their applications were processed – and suspended deportations. Later, he canceled further construction of the border wall while moving to lift the Title 42 rule allowing immediate deportation of illegal immigrants who had recently been in a country where a communicable disease was present.