Vice President Kamala Harris recently visited the U.S.-Mexico border after months of mounting criticism over her reticence to do so.
In response, however, former Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan blasted her trip as a political stunt aimed at covering up her own incompetence in dealing with a border crisis.
His comments came on the heels of the vice president’s appearance in El Paso, Texas.
Harris put off the visit for months after President Joe Biden tasked her with a leading role in tackling the border issue. She finally staged a trip, along with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, on Friday — the day before former President Donald Trump was set to make his own border visit.
For his part, Morgan was unimpressed by what he described as a glorified photo op.
“We know this trip is nothing more than a political stunt, rather than a substantive action designed to solicit open and honest feedback from Border Patrol agents who are dealing with the crisis Harris and her chief architect, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, has created,” he asserted.
Echoing the criticism of others, including U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Morgan chastised Harris for avoiding the areas most acutely impacted by a spike in illegal immigration.
“An optics nightmare”
He said that Harris is “intentionally staying clear of the Rio Grande Valley area, the current epicenter of the southwest border crisis, where they have experienced more than 270,000 apprehensions this fiscal year.”
Morgan also alleged that “it took former President Donald Trump’s announcing a visit to the border himself — presenting the Biden administration with an optics nightmare — to finally force Harris to visit the border.”
Trump issued a statement on the matter that offered a similar accusation.
“After months of ignoring the crisis at the Southern Border, it is great that we got Kamala Harris to finally go and see the tremendous destruction and death that they’ve created – direct result of Biden ending my very tough but fair Border policies,” the former president said. “Harris and Biden were given the strongest Border in American history. And now, it is by far the worst in American history. If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going there next week, she would have never gone!”
Despite plenty of speculation to the contrary, Harris claimed that she had planned to make the trip from the beginning, adding: “I said back in March I was going to come to the border so this is not a new plan.”