Early on in the current administration, President Joe Biden tasked Vice President Kamala Harris with tackling the root causes of a spike in illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Of course, her performance in that regard has been roundly criticized — and one Texas Democrat is calling for her to be replaced.
“I’ve moved on from the vice president”
According to Fox News, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) recently indicated that he is essentially working around the vice president to address the border security needs of his constituents.
His remarks came during a Wednesday morning conference call with reporters.
As the Washington Examiner reported, the congressman used the opportunity to declare: “I’ve moved on from the vice president to say, ‘OK, let’s work with the ambassadors and let’s work with the State Department. Let’s work with Homeland Security.”
Cuellar noted that “the media has put a lot of focus on the vice president,” though he shared his belief that she has not “put the effort in there” to address the complex and controversial issue.
“We’ve got to look at other folks that have the expertise on that,” he said.
“I wish we had a border czar”
The Examiner noted that Harris has not done much to stem the tide of undocumented immigrants, aside from the negligible impact of her visits to discuss the matter with leaders in Central America.
Furthermore, the vice president has faced criticism for seeming to laugh off or dismiss questions about the border. Amid growing backlash over her reticence to visit the border in person, she ultimately caved to GOP pressure and planned a stop in El Paso, Texas — although the destination has had relatively low levels of illegal immigration due to the presence of border walls nearby.
As for the notion that Harris is serving as Biden’s border czar, Cuellar took exception, stating: “I wish we had a border czar. We’ve had border czars under different administrations.”
Earlier this year, Cuellar similarly lambasted the vice president, teaming up with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to call on Biden to replace Harris with former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in the role of border czar.
Immigration, among other pressing issues, has been a consistent factor in the vice president’s steadily dropping approval rating.