A Texas Democrat representing a stretch of the southern border said Wednesday morning that he is fed up with Vice President Kamala Harris as "border czar" and is calling for her replacement.
"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 the Homeland Secretary,'" said Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, who represents Texas’ 28th district that stretches from San Antonio, to Laredo, to Rio Grande City.
"I think that's the way to address it, but I know that the media has put a lot of focus on the vice president, but with all due respect, she was given that title. I don't think she's, with all due respect, put the effort in there...We’ve got to look at other folks that have the expertise on that," Cuellar added.
The Biden administration dubbed Harris the Border Czar in late March as illegal immigrants started coming across the border in record numbers, creating a critical humanitarian crisis. After being appointed it was still several months before Harris made a visit to the border and has not been there since.
So far in Fiscal Year 2021, the RGV sector has seen more than 65,000 migrant encounters to date, a 161% increase over the same period last year. In the nearby Del Rio Sector, there has been a 236% increase in encounters over the same period last year. There have so far been 6,500 known gotaways in the sector alone.
President Joe Biden has been facing a major crisis at the southern border since shortly after taking office. More than 1.7 million migrants have been encountered in Fiscal Year 2021, with more than 192,000 migrants encountered in September alone. Biden reversed border security policies put in place by former President Donald Trump during his first days in office.
The number of migrants apprehended at the U.S. southern border in October surged 128% from the same time last year, according to data released Monday by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
CBP data showed 164,303 migrant encounters along the southern border in October, an alarming increase over October 2020, when there were 71,929 encountered.
In addition to the harsh criticism Harris has faced about the southern border crisis, her poll numbers are plummeting, with data earlier this month showing her with a 27.8% approval rating with 51.2% disapproving of her tenure in the White House. Biden named Harris his Border Czar months ago however, she has only visited El Paso, Texas, which does have a border wall, and is located 800 miles from the Rio Grande Valley where the highest number of illegal border crossings have been seen.