Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has denounced an unprecedented immigration and humanitarian crisis on the southern border of the United States, sent a letter to Kamala Harris, whom he called “border czar,” to ask her nine questions that the administration has yet to answer.
Harris was appointed by Biden to oversee the handling of the surge of migrants at the border, but so far she has not traveled to get a firsthand look at the extent of the border crisis.
In the letter, Abbott urges the vice president to interview all unaccompanied minors crossing the border to determine if any children have been harmed or victimized in any way by human smugglers during the border crisis.
He further demanded that she make clear what the Biden-Harris administration is doing to investigate and prosecute human traffickers and address the increase in border crossings since the beginning of their administration.
“Who is assisting these children as they travel through Mexico and cross the U.S. border?” was one of the questions Abbott asked Harris about the border crisis.
“Were these children forced to carry contraband into the U.S.?” the Texas governor questioned as he asked for explanations from the federal government on what it is doing to eliminate abuse by the hand of human smugglers, also known as coyotes, to unaccompanied children at the border.
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has vaguely suggested that these children be screened by properly trained personnel to identify possible victims of abuse, assault, and trafficking, but has provided no further information. What screening is being done? When is that screening taking place and by whom? Are these children being provided with a comprehensive medical examination that can separately identify abuse and assault?” added Abbott in the missive.
“Is the federal government using DNA testing to confirm family relationships? How else does the administration ensure that these children are released to safe and trusted adults?” he asked.
In the document, the governor held the Biden-Harris administration accountable for the consequences in the face of its open borders policies. “These policies embolden and enrich the cartels, smugglers and human traffickers who continue to escalate their criminal operations,” Abbott continued.
“In many cases, these criminals lure unaccompanied minors into inhumane conditions and expose them to abuse and terror,” was one of the governor’s statements.
Later in the letter, Abbott urges Harris to visit the border herself, something she has yet to do since taking office as vice president on January 20 and for which she has been widely criticized by Republican politicians.
Harris doesn’t have plans of visiting the border crisis firsthand
On Wednesday, March 31, it was learned that Harris has no plans to visit the border facilities for migrant care, and that on the contrary, her work will be to “use diplomacy” to manage the crisis.
According to spokeswoman Symone Sanders, the Vice President “will not be on the ground”, but will receive reports from Mexican and Central American officials on the border crisis.
According to the White House, this Thursday Harris and the President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, spoke by telephone and agreed to work together to address the root causes of migration to the United States.
“They agreed to explore innovative opportunities to create jobs and improve conditions for all people in Guatemala and the region, through issues such as promoting transparency and fighting crime,” the statement reads.