Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants answers from Harris about migrant surge

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants answers from Harris about migrant surge

The governor of Texas is demanding answers from Vice President Kamala Harris about the surge of unaccompanied children to the sout

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The governor of Texas is demanding answers from Vice President Kamala Harris about the surge of unaccompanied children to the southern border, warning in a letter this week that the administration’s foot-dragging imperils national security and endangers lives.

“I want to express to you the threats and challenges caused by this administration’s open border policies,” Gov. Greg Abbott wrote in the letter dated Tuesday to Harris, who President Biden tapped to oversee the response to the crisis, Fox News reported.

“These policies embolden and enrich cartels, smugglers, and human traffickers who continue to ramp up their criminal operations,” Abbott, a Republican, continued. “In many cases, these criminals lure unaccompanied minors into inhumane conditions and expose them to abuse and terror.”

The letter included a list of questions he wants Harris to answer as well as a suggestion that she visit the border to review the situation with her own eyes.

Abbott said he wants answers about who is assisting the minors as they make the trek to the US, what the administration is doing to eliminate the threat of harm to them and confirm whether children are being forced to smuggle contraband across the border, the report said.

A group of migrants arrives in the U.S. after crossing the Rio Grande in a raft, in Roma, Texas.
A group of migrants arrives in the US after crossing the Rio Grande in a raft, in Roma, Texas.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

He also seeks a response to whether the children are undergoing medical screening and whether that will help identify is they were victims of assault or abuse.

Vice President Harris has not yet visited the US-Mexico border.
Vice President Harris has not yet visited the US-Mexico border.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“Americans deserve to know what the administration is doing to get answers to these questions and to go after human traffickers,” he wrote in the letter.

“Given your new role as the administration’s Border Czar, I urge you to visit the border to see the crisis for yourself and I implore the Biden administration to take swift action to secure the border, crack down on human trafficking, and prevent more children from  being trafficked and abused,” the letter continued.

A smuggler paddles ashore a group of migrants entering the U.S. on the Rio Grande.
A smuggler paddles ashore a group of migrants entering the US on the Rio Grande.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Abbott has been an outspoken critic of the Biden administration’s actions on the border and has blamed the surge of migrants on Biden rolling back many of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

“It is a self-inflicted wound because going back to what the Border Patrol officers told me themselves, they informed the Biden administration about this all along, and the Biden administration has known exactly what was going to happen if they refuse to continue to implement the policies that were previously in place,” he said earlier this month.

A family of migrants cross the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to U.S Border Patrol agents to request for asylum in El Paso, Texas.
A family of migrants cross the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to US Border Patrol agents to request for asylum in El Paso, Texas.
Edgard Garrido/Reuters

Biden named Harris as the point person on the effort last week and said she will head up the diplomatic talks with Mexico and the Central American countries where many of the migrants are coming from to find solutions to the problem.

​But Harris has yet to visit the border.​

Children lie inside a pod at the Donna, Texas, Department of Homeland Security holding facility.
Children lie inside a pod at the Donna, Texas, Department of Homeland Security holding facility.
Dario Lopez-Mills/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Asked last week during a visit to Florida whether she would travel to the border, Harris responded, “Not today,” and chuckled.

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