Democratic Senator Joe Manchin broke ranks with his party on Tuesday to slam Vice President Kamala Harris’ claim that the U.S. border with Mexico is secure, calling her “dead wrong.”
“We have a secure border, in that that is a priority for any nation including ours and our administration,” Harris told NBC’s Meet The Press.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, however, disputed the claim in an interview with Fox News.
“It’s wrong. She’s dead wrong on that. And I have said this,” Manchin said, adding: “If we don’t secure it — I voted every time for the wall, but we need the wall and a lot more, technology, more agents.”
The Democrat senator argued that an immigration bill put forward by the Obama administration in 2013 would have “corrected everything we have going wrong,” but lamented the fact it couldn’t get passed through the Republican House at the time because of party politics.
“For anybody — the vice president, president, anybody — to say our borders are secured, that is not accurate. I have been there. It’s wrong,” he reiterated.
Manchin’s repudiation of Harris’ remarks on the U.S. southern border shows a split in the Democrat Party on its handling of border security and immigration ahead of the midterm elections on Nov. 8.
Typically red states along the U.S.-Mexican border have long been raising the alarm about the reality of the U.S.’ illegal immigration problem at the border, which former President Donald Trump famously wanted to resolve with a border wall at Mexico’s expense.
In the 2022 fiscal year so far, there have been more than 2 million attempted crossings into the U.S. by illegal migrants, according to data from Customs and Border Protection, a 22-year high.
Multiple border agents have subsequently slammed Harris’ comments.
“Well, since we have apprehended over 2 million aliens so far this year, which is a record, and the year is not over, and we set a single-day apprehension record just last week, I believe, that does not exactly scream that our borders are secure,” one agent told Fox News.
“This quote is more of the same old word salad responses that this vice president gives,” another border agent told the news channel.
In recent times, Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott has authorized more than 40 buses of migrants to depart from the state to New York City, with others being shipped to Washington D.C. and Chicago.
Abbott has long rallied against the traditionally blue cities, who he says are too sheltered from he calls the U.S.’ “broken federal immigration system.”
The move by Abbott has infuriated New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who threatened to bus New Yorkers to the southern state to campaign against the Republican governor “for the good of America,” insisting: “We have to get him out of office.”