Vice President Kamala Harris is not visiting the "epicenter of the crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border on her first visit trip there since being tabbed to take charge of the immigration surge, according to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Politico reported Wednesday that Harris will visit El Paso, Texas, on Friday.
"I don't know why they chose El Paso. It's not the epicenter of the crisis," Rubio said Wednesday night on the Fox News.
El Paso is a far distance from the Rio Grande Valley sector where Republicans say the vast majority of border crossings are occurring.
Rubio said Harris instead should visit McAllen, which is nearly 800 miles away from El Paso.
"It's closer to McAllen and areas of that nature. But I will say that irrespective, I think what they’re going to see is what they created," Rubio said.
"Migratory pressure has always been there, and I don't care what anybody tells you, I don't care what rhetoric you hear, I know people who have relatives in Central America, and the message they got in November of last year and in January when [President] Joe Biden was sworn in was, 'There’s a new administration, they're going to do everything on immigration the opposite of Trump.'"
Other Republicans joined Rubio in criticizing Harris' border destination choice.
"She's going to the wrong part of the border," former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Wednesday, according to the Washington Examiner.
"The vice president said she wasn't interested in grand gestures, yet here she is planning a trip in a way that reflects again she doesn't really fully comprehend the magnitude of the crisis, and where it really exists on steroids, which is the Rio Grande Valley," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
"It's not even fair to say she's a day late and a dollar short. She's nearly a hundred days late and a thousand miles short."
Harris and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will visit El Paso after the vice president has been slammed repeatedly by Republicans and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, for not visiting the border in her search of the surge’s root cause.
"I'm sure her planners told her that if you're going to go down to the border, go to something that's safer to go to, that is, politically safer," Cuellar told Fox News on Thursday morning, the Examiner reported.
"The epicenter is down there in the Lower Rio Grande, the lower part of my district down there. If you look at the numbers that are down there compared to El Paso, you're not going to get a true picture of what's happening."
Cueller told Fox News a trip to the southwest region would allow Harris to see children and families being detained in tents in Donna, Texas, and constant crossings at the Rio Grande River that divides both countries, the Examiner said.
According to Customs and Border Protection data, the Rio Grande Valley has seen the most illegal immigration of the state’s nine border regions, and nearly 2 1/2 times as many migrant encounters as the El Paso region.
Border Patrol agents from October through May apprehended 271,927 migrants in the Rio Grande Valley, compared to 113,824 in El Paso.
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