Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he wants answers regarding the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border – and he’s seeking them from Vice President Kamala Harris.
Abbott wrote a letter this week to Harris, who was recently appointed by President Biden to oversee the new administration’s handling of the recent surge in migrants attempting to enter the U.S.
"Now that President Biden has named you Border Czar in charge of the administration’s response, I want to express to you the threats and challenges caused by this administration’s open border policies," Abbott wrote in the letter, which carried Tuesday’s date.
"These policies embolden and enrich cartels, smugglers, and human traffickers who continue to ramp up their criminal operations," Abbott continued." In many cases, these criminals lure unaccompanied minors into inhumane conditions and expose them to abuse and terror."
Later in the letter, Abbott urges Harris to visit the border region herself – something she has yet to do since becoming vice president Jan. 20.
The letter later lists specific areas of concern.
Abbott asks that Harris identify who is assisting unaccompanied children as they travel toward the U.S. border, explain what the U.S. is doing to eliminate the threat of harm to migrant children, and confirm whether children have been forced to carry contraband items into the U.S.
He also asks Harris to provide details on medical screening being done for the children and to explain whether the screening will help identify victims of assault and abuse. He also asks how the U.S. is ensuring that any adults who claim the children are trustworthy individuals, and how the U.S. plans to prosecute adults who cause the children harm.
"Americans deserve to know what the administration is doing to get answers to these questions and to go after human traffickers," Abbott writes.
On March 6, Abbott launched Operation Lone Star, to direct law enforcement personnel and other resources to the border region in Texas, and expanded the program March 17 to help combat human trafficking, FOX 14 of El Paso, Texas, reported.
"Given your new role as the administration’s Border Czar, I urge you to visit the border to see the crisis for yourself," Abbott writes, "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."
Harris has recently taken criticism for laughing off questions about migrant issues and for failing to hold a news briefing about the border crisis despite her oversight role.
On Tuesday, Harris spoke with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, thanking him for securing Guatemala’s border as migrants travel north toward the U.S.