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Blackburn: VP joined in El Paso by Dem who sent staff to Mexico ‘to coach migrants on how to illegally enter’ US

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It took 156 days for Vice President Kamala Harris, aka the border czar, to make it to the nation’s southern border amid a growing crisis, but her efforts and particularly, who she had accompany her, did not sit well with Republican lawmakers.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, who controls Beto O’Rourke’s former district,  joined the Vice President and Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas on their trip to the border.

The congresswoman has come under fire for sending staff to Ciudad Juárez, a town just over the border in Mexico, to find migrants returned from El Paso, Texas, under the “remain in Mexico” policy and coach them on how to exploit a loophole allowing them to come back to the U.S, the Washington Examiner reported.

Rep. Marsh Blackburn (R-TN) criticized Harris for her fellowship with Escobar:

“It’s taken nearly 100 days for the Vice President to get to the southern border. Who does she take with her? A member of Congress who […] sent her staff to Mexico to coach asylum seekers on how to work the system so that they can get in,” Blackburn said in a video that was posted on Twitter.

Escobar spoke with the press pool alongside Harris and Mayorkas and called El Paso the “capital of the border” and dubbed the southern border the “New Ellis Island”.

Comparing the border to Ellis Island, where migrants came legally to the United States is a stretch for a place where drugs, sex trafficking and smuggling are a daily occurence; and the massive surge effects Americans everywhere, not just along the border.

The congresswoman allegedly sent her staff over the border to reescort migrants who would otherwise have to wait in Mexico while a judge decides on their asylum claim,  back to the border. But not before coaching them to claim that they can’t speak Spanish despite having spoken it days earlier to CBP officers or have a medical condition that requires their being allowed in the U.S.

“What we believe is happening is Veronica Escobar’s office is going … to basically second-guess and obstruct work already done by the Border Patrol. What we’re hearing from management is that they’re attempting to return people, and the story was changed in Mexico, where a person who understood Spanish before now doesn’t understand — where a person who didn’t have any health issues before now has health issues,” one senior union representative told the Washington Examiner.

Escobar’s office reportedly sought interviews with 6,000 migrants returned from the border in June 2019.

A CBP intelligence unit found that the staffers doing the interviews wore recording devices to tape conversations. Some have hypothesized that they recorded the conversations so they could play them back later and cherry pick cases.

“By opposing a system that assists migrants and speeds wait times, these individuals are exposing a cause that looks more like a cover story for their political motivations. Any efforts to subvert and obstruct federal law enforcement operations should receive a full review,” a Homeland Security official told the Examiner.

On one occasion, an Escobar staff walked a male migrant over the border and asked for him to be admitted because he had “cognitive disabilities.”

The boy’s file indicated no such thing, and he was eventually returned to Mexico because the disability was diagnosed by a Hill staffer, not a medical professional.

Blackburn fired off a few more tweets hitting Escobar for her obstruction of CBP operations.

 

No immediate action to quell the influx of illegal border crossers appeared to result from Harris’ visit. Customs and Border Protection apprehension numbers for May showed more than 180,000 illegal aliens were apprehended crossing the border. This represents a 674% increase from illegal alien apprehensions in May 2020, according to CBP.

Kay Apfel

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