DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Vice President Kamala Harris will make her first visit to the southern border Friday, June 25 when she visits El Paso.
The White House announced she will take a tour of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Central Processing Center, where she will receive an operational briefing.READ MORE: Hump Day Goes 'Green' For A Person In Irving After $1 Million Scratch Ticket Win 💵💵
The Vice President will arrive with the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and U.S. Representative Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso.
After touring the Border Patrol facility, the Vice President will meet with immigration advocates and then speak to reporters.
Her visit comes after Texas Senator John Cornyn scolded her on the Senate floor Wednesday and in a tweet saying, “After all that, @VP isn’t even going to the right place. Here’s a map.”
Cornyn and other Republicans say Vice President Harris should have gone to areas of the southern border where the flow of migrants is far larger.
But the White House says El Paso is very representative of what’s happening on the border.
U.S. Border Patrol statistics show in fiscal year 2021 so far, between October and the end of May, there were 43,061 apprehensions in the El Paso Sector, which includes the El Paso area and all of New Mexico.
That’s more than double from the same time period last year when there were 20,556 apprehensions.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector has a far greater number of apprehensions this fiscal year so far.
Between October and the end of May, there were 271,927 apprehensions.
That is far higher than the same time period a year before when there were 53,669 apprehensions.
Another area in Texas that has seen a large increase in the number of migrants crossing into Texas illegally is the Del Rio Sector.
Border Patrol statistics show between October and the end of May, there were 118,314 apprehensions, far more than the same time period the year before when there were 21,225 apprehensions.
Republican State Senator Drew Springer, R-Muenster, just returned from touring the Del Rio Sector of the border. “In the Del Rio Sector, literally the the water is waist deep, and people are just wading across. In Del Rio, you literally see houses on the Mexican side that are feet from the border, and people are just coming across every five to ten minutes.”
He said the federal government has not responded to the increased number of migrants that have been taken into custody. “It’s like 20 times more people coming across Del Rio than they’ve ever seen. How much more Border Patrol agents are you seeing in Del Rio? They said none. They’ve kept the exact same numbers that they’ve kept in years past. So Washington is turning their back on this problem in Del Rio.”
In the Laredo Sector, records show there were 76,670 apprehensions between October and the end of May, an increase from 27,224 apprehensions during the same time period a year earlier.
The Big Bend Sector has the least amount of apprehensions in the state with 25,028 between October and May.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
That’s higher than the same time period from the year earlier when there were 4,698 apprehensions.
Vice President Harris’ visit to El Paso will come five days before former President Donald Trump tours the Texas border with Governor Greg Abbott and some Congressional Republicans next Wednesday, June 30.
In a statement Wednesday, the former President said, “Harris and Biden were given the strongest Border in American history. And now, it is by far the worst in American history. If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going there next week, she would never have gone!”
The White House said Thursday evening, June 24 that inherited a broken and inhumane immigration system, and that it is in the process of building a system that is fair, humane, and orderly.
A Quinnipiac University Texas poll out this week shows President Biden getting low marks on his border policy: 29 percent approve and 64 percent disapprove.
The poll shows Governor Abbott’s handling of the border getting mixed results: 47 percent approve, 46 percent disapprove.
Last week, the Governor proposed building a state border wall after the Biden administration announced it would no longer divert money from the military’s budget to continue building a border wall and would no longer spend funds previously approved by Congress to do so.
The Governor made a $250 million down payment on the wall project by transferring money from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to the state’s disaster fund.
Governor Abbott also said the Texas Department of Public Safety would arrest those who cross the border on criminal trespassing charges, among other things.
State Senator Royce West, D-Dallas, said the Governor’s policy amounts to political posturing. “Most people want to make certain we have safe borders. Following Trump is probably palatable for Abbott given that Trump endorsed him in terms of his use of building the wall. That’s what this is all about.”
Senator Springer disagreed. “I think the way the Governor went about this is right. Those that don’t want to enter the checkpoint like they should, we will be able to have a much higher level of DPS being able to actually arrest them for those heightened levels of trespassing when they cross that border.”
Governor Abbott denied last week that his proposal is all about political theater.
The Quinnipiac Poll shows that when it comes to the Governor’s proposal to arrest people crossing the border, 55 percent approve, 38 percent disapprove.
His proposal to build a state border wall shows 50 percent approve, 46 percent disapprove.
The Texas Department of Public Safety began Operation Lone Star in March, and through June 17, state troopers made 1,700 criminal arrests and 41,500 apprehensions and referrals involving migrants.
Troopers also seized 600 pounds of cocaine and 138 firearms during that time.
To help pay for the increased number of state troopers patrolling the southern border, the Texas Legislature increased its border security budget by more than $200 million to more than $1 billion for the 2022-23 budget.MORE NEWS: Parker County Sheriff's Bust Multi-State Scam, Arrest Seventy 18 Construction Owner Richard Wortham
Governor Abbott’s office said it has now received more than $527,000 in donations for the state’s border wall.