Questions aimed at Vice President Kamala Harris on whether she’ll visit the U.S.-Mexico border are ''unfair'' and ''disrespectful,'' says Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
GOP Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina during a hearing on the Department of Homeland Security’s budget request for fiscal year 2022 questioned why neither President Joe Biden nor Harris had visited the border amid an influx of arrivals.
''I consider that question to be quite unfair and disrespectful,'' Mayorkas said.
''Your comments are just words, and they’re very unfair,'' Norman shot back. ''I asked you a simple question, and I would like for you to just answer simply. Does it make sense for the leaders of the free world to go in to talk and see what’s going on at the border?''
Mayorkas defended Harris, saying she previously ''served as the attorney general of a border state, of California,'' and that she was ''quite familiar with the situation at the border.''
''But she’s laughing at it!'' Norman responded. ''It’s an insult to say that you’re looking at the border wall ... what do you have to look at? You’re not building it.''
''Let me be very clear,'' Mayorkas responded. ''The president and the vice president have requested and directed me to visit the border, which I have done on multiple occasions.''
Pressed further on the matter by Norman, Mayorkas said: ''I am the secretary of Homeland Security, and it is my responsibility to manage the border at the direction of the president and the vice president and I have visited the border on multiple occasions.''
Harris, who recently traveled to Guatemala and Mexico for talks on irregular migration, recently laughed off an interview question about why she hasn’t visited the border.
"I, and I haven't been to Europe. And I mean, I don't — I don't understand the point that you're making," Harris said with a laugh in response to a question from NBC's Lester Holt on why she hasn't yet visited the US-Mexico border.
"I'm not discounting the importance of the border,'' she added.
Mayorkas during Thursday’s hearing defended Harris’ experience.
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