Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas voiced his disappointment in Vice President Kamala Harris for ignoring his calls regarding migration issues, The New York Times reported.
When Cuellar heard Harris would be traveling to the border in June, he phoned her office to offer help and advice for her visit, but he never received a call back, Cuellar told the NYT.
“I say this very respectfully to her: I moved on,” Cuellar said. “She was tasked with that job, it doesn’t look like she’s very interested in this, so we are going to move on to other folks that work on this issue.”
Rather than approach the vice president’s office, Cuellar said he would now go directly to the West Wing to voice his concerns, the NYT reported. “At least they talk to you,” Cuellar said of the White House.
Aides to Harris have emphasized her efforts to get countries and companies to join the U.S. in committing to a $1.2 billion investment toward expanding digital access, climate issues and economic opportunity in Central America, the NYT reported. Scant progress has been made in this area, however.
Illegal migration to the U.S. has surged over the past year, with critics of President Joe Biden blaming the situation on him. Biden repealed the “Remain in Mexico” policy put in place by the Trump administration, but he eventually decided to reinstate it.
Democratic California Rep. Karen Bass told the NYT that the White House needed to do a better job defending Harris due to the complexity of the issues she has been assigned, including migration and elections.
“What the White House could’ve done is been clearer with the expectations of what was supposed to happen under her watch,” Bass told the outlet.
“I know, and we all knew, that she would have a difficult time because anytime you’re a ‘first,’ you do,” she said. “And to be the first woman vice president, to be the first Black, Asian woman, that’s a triple. So we knew it was going to be rough, but it has been relentless, and I think extremely unfair.”
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