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Arizona governor slams VP Kamala Harris as 'worst possible choice' for handling border crisis


'Joe Biden has broken our border'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Joe Biden tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to head the administration's efforts to resolve the current border crisis. Biden said of Harris on Tuesday, "I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this."

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey vehemently disagrees that Harris is the right person to handle the immigration crisis and went so far as to declare the vice president to be the "worst possible choice" for remedying the massive migrant surge at the U.S. southern border.

During a news conference Wednesday, Ducey weighed in on Harris being assigned to tackle the border crisis.

"She's about the worst possible choice that one could make," Ducey told reporters. "In no point in her career has she given any indication that she considers the border a problem or a serious threat."

"If President Biden's intent was to show that he's taking this issue seriously, he's really done the exact opposite," the Republican governor stated, adding that President Biden had "completely trivialized the issue by putting someone in charge who flat out just doesn't care."

Harris admitted Wednesday that the border situation is a "huge problem."

"I'm not going to pretend it's not. It's a huge problem," Harris told CBS News. "Are we looking at overcrowding at the border in particular of these kids? Yes."

Harris received condemnation earlier this week for appearing to laugh off a question about whether she will be visiting the border. "Not today," Harris joked before laughing. "But I have before, and I'm sure I will again."

While on the campaign trail running for president in July 2019, Harris stated, "You look at the fact that this is a president who has pushed policies that's been about putting babies in cages at the border in the name of security when in fact what it is, is a human rights abuse being committed by the United States government,"

"As president, I will immediately put in place a meaningful process to review asylum cases," she wrote on Twitter in July 2019. "I will release children from cages. I will get rid of the private detention centers. It's time we had a president whose actions reflected the values of our country."

The Biden administration has been criticized for reopening migrant facilities that were closed during the Trump administration.

Last week, Ducey was touring the border along with Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R), who also said Biden was responsible for the "humanitarian crisis along the Southern border."

"There's a crisis at the border and it's 100% President Biden's fault," Scott said, who is the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "Our brave border patrol and ICE officers are working around the clock to keep Americans safe, and today Governor Ducey and I got to see that work firsthand. Biden's open borders and amnesty policies are wreaking havoc and incentivizing illegal immigration and the endangerment of children whose parents are sending them here alone."

"There were over 100,000 detentions in February, compared to 37,000 in February 2020 — a 170% increase," Scott said. "It's unacceptable and dangerous, and it's a crisis that demands action. It's time for the Biden Administration to secure the border and send a clear message of law and order. And it's time for the President to get down here and see the crisis he's created."

Ducey slammed Biden for the border crisis, saying the president is "totally divorced from the reality on the ground."

"I've been governor under three presidents, and this is by far the worst situation we've seen," Ducey said during a visit to the border wall. "Washington has never been more out of touch, and it starts at the top."

"The system is broken," Ducey told reporters in Douglas, Arizona. "Joe Biden has broken our border."

In an interview with ABC News that aired Sunday, Ducey blamed Biden for the surge of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border. Ducey pointed out that when Biden reversed many of Trump's immigration policies that "disincentivized people from taking this dangerous trip," especially the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the "remain in Mexico" policy.

Last week, Mexican officials admitted that former President Donald Trump's policies helped curb the surge of migrants from Central and South America, according to a New York Times report.

"To have a 460% spike in illegal apprehensions, over 100,000 people in custody, 13,000 migrant children — this is a historic record for the agency," Ducey said.

Ducey was asked about Biden's recent plea to migrants, "Don't come over."

Ducey replied, "He certainly can communicate more often, more clearly and he should be talking to President [Andrés Manuel López] Obrador. He's got a big microphone. He needs to use it appropriately."

Chris Riggs, the mayor of Gila Bend, Arizona, declared a state of emergency for his town this week in response to the flood of illegal immigrants.

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