Vice President Kamala Harris accused Texas Governor Greg Abbott of ‘flame throwing’ on Sunday after the Republican official directed state law enforcement officers to round up migrants and send them to federal border crossings.
Abbott signed an executive order on Thursday allowing the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to arrest undocumented migrants and return them to the border.
In an interview with CBS News’ Face The Nation, Harris was asked what the Biden administration planned to do about Abbott’s plan and his laying blame on the White House for the record surge in asylum seekers at the southwest border – which Abbott labeled an ‘invasion.’
‘I would suggest that so-called leaders focus on solutions instead of attacks if they really are concerned about a problem, and that includes on the issue of immigration,’ Harris responded.
In a direct jab at Donald Trump, she said the previous presidential administration created ‘a badly broken’ immigration system.
Meanwhile, Harris herself has done little in recent months that comes under her purview of the Biden administration’s ‘border czar.’
The vice president maintained that solutions to the immigration crisis would include ‘passing a pathway for citizenship,’ a long-held goal for Democrats
‘So that we can have a humane and appropriate approach to this issue, including of course, what we will continue to do in terms of prioritizing border security, but understanding we also need to create a pathway,’ Harris said on Sunday.
‘And that’s where I think everyone should be focused if they’re actually concerned about solutions, instead of flame throwing.’
Abbott’s order comes against the backdrop of a new record surge in asylum-seekers at the southern border, and days after the Supreme Court ruled President Biden could get rid of the controversial Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols, nicknamed the ‘Remain In Mexico’ policy.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) recorded 239,416 migrant encounters in May.
Harris had not made a public statement on the surge when the data was released last month.
Accountability for the rise in migrants straining local and state governments – in addition to the federal immigration pipeline – has largely fallen onto Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as well as Biden himself.
While that’s to be expected with Mayorkas’ department overseeing CBP and border operations, Harris’ absence in leading the response on the border is noticeable considering Biden tapped her to lead the national response to the southwestern border crisis in March last year.