Secretary for Homeland Security Alejandro mayorkas close a question from one Republican congressman Thursday on whether the vice president Kamala harris visit the US-Mexico border amid an increase in migrant arrivals and asylum seekers as “unfair” and “disrespectful”.
Speaking during a Hearing of the Committee on Internal Security on the Ministry of Homeland Security (EDS) budget request for fiscal year 2022, GOP representative Ralph Norman asked why neither the president Joe biden nor Mrs. Harris had visited the southern border amid the influx of arrivals.
Mr Norman introduced the question by asking Mr Mayorkas whether he had “ever had a medical examination”.
After the DHS chief confirmed that he had done so, the South Carolina representative moved on to his next question: “Why then?” Didn’t Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris think he had? It would be important to also go “physically examine” the situation at the southern border.
Before Mr Mayorkas could answer the question, Mr Norman then appeared to report an incident in March in which Ms Harris laughed after being asked about her intention to go to the border, asking if he was was a “fair” response.
In this exchange, Mrs Harris was asked if she would be going to the border and replied “not today”, before laughing: “But I already have and I am sure I will do it again”, at l ‘time.
Mr Mayorkas said he could “most certainly” answer Mr Norman’s question, but said: “I consider this question to be quite unfair and disrespectful.”
“Be very clear,” he continued. “The president and vice president asked and ordered me to visit the border, which I did on several occasions. “
Pressed further on the matter by Mr Norman, Mr Mayorkas said: “I am the Secretary for Homeland Security and it is my responsibility to manage the border under the leadership of the President and Vice President and I have visited the border several times. “
When asked if he also spoke with border patrol officers, the DHS chief replied, “I certainly did.”
He also noted that Ms. Harris previously served as attorney general for the state of California, which borders Mexico, before saying the vice president is “quite familiar with the situation on the border.”
The exchange comes as Ms Harris faces increasing calls to visit the US-Mexico border as part of her tenure to lead the response to the recent surge in arrivals of migrants and asylum seekers.
Ms. Harris recently visited Mexico and Guatemala for talks on how to tackle the increase in irregular migration, including by addressing the “root causes” of migration.