Roughly three weeks after President Joe Biden tasked Vice President Kamala Harris with handling diplomatic efforts related to a surge of immigrants along the nation’s southern border, she has yet to visit the region for a firsthand view of the situation.
In response, one Republican lawmaker made use of a prop milk carton featuring Harris’ picture, reminiscent of the missing child notices once common on such packaging.
Scalise wants to “raise awareness”
According to The Washington Times, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) displayed the milk carton during a press conference on Wednesday as he discussed a recent GOP-led trip to the border where a number of legislators surveyed the ongoing migrant crisis for themselves.
Prop here from Minority Whip Scalise at the House GOP presser this morning — VP Kamala Harris “missing at the border” milk carton pic.twitter.com/o717b1Xwh0
— Emily Brooks (@emilyelarsen) April 14, 2021
During the press conference, Scalise declared that his goal was to “raise awareness” of the border situation, which he blamed on policies enacted by the Biden administration.
In addition to using rhetoric that seemed to welcome migrants from around the world, the president has reversed several key border and immigration positions implemented by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.
“She refuses to go down”
Harris has received criticism from sources other than elected Republicans, including Fox News Channel host Chris Wallace, who called out the vice president for neglecting to visit the southern border.
“When the president first said he was putting Kamala Harris, his vice president, in charge of the border, the sense was that he was putting her in charge of the border, the whole issue,” Wallace said earlier this month. “Then a day or so later the clarification came down that well, no, she is not in charge of the border, she is in charge of diplomacy with Mexico and with the Northern Triangle countries to try to stem the flow to the border.”
Scalise offered a similar take this week during his press conference, stating: “President Biden puts Kamala Harris in charge of it, and she refuses to go down. Maybe because she doesn’t want to be associated with this disgraceful policy.”
Biden’s failed policies
Nevertheless, the congressman said that she “needs to go down to the border and see this for herself because maybe then she would encourage President Biden to reverse his policies that have failed.”
On the same day that Scalise declared her “missing” at the border, Harris did participate in a “virtual roundtable” discussion with various experts on Central America’s Northern Triangle — El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras — during which she once again dodged a reporter’s question about a possible border trip.
“So, as I mentioned to the experts, the president has asked [Homeland Security] Secretary Mayorkas to address what is going on at the border,” Harris said. “And he has been working very hard at that, and it’s showing some progress because of his hard work. I have been asked to lead the issue of dealing with root causes in the Northern Triangle, similar to what then-Vice President [Biden] did many years ago.”