FRANKLIN, Tennessee — Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told Breitbart News that Vice President Kamala Harris’s trip to the border last week was “93 days late,” and even though she finally went there, “she went to the wrong address.”
Blackburn’s comments came during an exclusive long-form interview last week at Puckett’s — a grocery store, restaurant, and live-music venue at which many of Nashville’s legendary country music artists have performed — as part of Breitbart News’s On The Hill video series. Blackburn lit into Harris for dodging going to the border for months after President Joe Biden appointed her to lead his administration’s response to the border crisis. When Harris did finally go, she chose El Paso instead of the Rio Grande Valley to visit because of the lesser migrant traffic flowing through that region.
“She’s 93 days late, and she went to the wrong address when she did this,” Blackburn said when asked about Harris finally visiting the border. “Why not go to the Rio Grande, which has twice as many illegal entrants as El Paso? Why not go out on the border, not just to the facility? Why not go out on the border and see where the wall has stopped — look at the traffic coming across the border. Find out what the cartels are doing. Go out with some of these local law enforcement or some of the Border Patrol and see what they’re having to deal with every day. That’s how you get your arms around this issue.”
Blackburn also ripped Harris for bringing with her Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), who recently was caught having her staff down in Mexico teaching migrants how to violate U.S. policy to get into the United States — charges Escobar denies. Escobar also during the trip with Harris called the U.S. border with Mexico the “new Ellis Island,” a sign she supports open borders rather than security.
“But, Rep. Escobar going down to Mexico or having her staff go to Mexico teaching people or trying to help people circumvent U.S. law — it is unbelievable,” Blackburn said. “If you had Republicans out trying to help people circumvent U.S. law, I think there would be a little bit of something said about it, and you would have some of these news agencies with 24/7 headlines about it. But that’s what they did.”
Blackburn said that because of Biden’s policies — perpetuated by Harris and backed by Democrats in Congress like Escobar — dangerous drug cartels “are completely in charge of the border” and migrants, especially children, are in danger of abuse. She said Harris is far more interested in saving face politically than solving the problem.
“We feel it is heartbreaking to see these children who have been physically and sexually abused by the cartels,” Blackburn said. “The cartels are completely in charge of the border. If you are not doing something to shut down that border, then you are helping the cartels. The cartels are drug trafficking, human trafficking, sex trafficking, they are bringing these gangs into the country. We have the Border Patrol so overrun now — 183,000 people in the month of May alone — astounding numbers. They are begging for help and resources and the vice president goes somewhere that is not as overrun and doesn’t actually go down to the border.”
What’s more, Blackburn noted the Biden administration is “not being transparent” about decisions through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to move migrant children from the border throughout the interior of the country, including to places as far from the border as Tennessee. In fact, the Biden team has placed children in facilities in Blackburn’s home state, and there are reports that at least one child from one of the facilities Biden is operating in Tennessee has gone missing, while another from a different facility may have been sexually abused while in U.S. custody.
Blackburn said that she, her fellow Tennessean U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) have requested information from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and the broader Biden administration about these facilities they are operating in their state but have not gotten information back.
“No, they are not being transparent about it. Sen. Hagerty, Congressman Fleischmann, and I have written to HHS trying to get an explanation about what happened,” Blackburn said. “We know it is a federal contract with the Baptiste Group and they are housing children there in Chattanooga. We do know there are reports there of one alleged sexual abuse. We do know there is one child missing. These are from different facilities. This is — the fact that these children, who have been traumatized by the cartels would then come here and while they’re in federal custody, have been moved to another state. They don’t speak the language, they don’t know anyone, they get sexually abused when they’re in these facilities. It is heartbreaking. It ought to stop. But in order to save face, which is what the Biden administration thinks that they are doing — they think that they are covering this problem up — they just say, ‘we have children in these facilities’ and they are not acknowledging the problems.”
Blackburn added that Biden has spread the effects and impact of the border crisis all over the country.
“But this is why every town is a border town, and every state is a border state because all of the trafficking, the drugs, the people coming across the borders and then being moved — they’re not being sent home,” Blackburn said. “It’s not catch and deport. It is catch and release. They’re being sent all around the country to communities that are going to have to pick up the cost of education and health care and children’s services and social services and food and housing. So, it’s going to be very expensive.”
More from Blackburn’s interview is forthcoming.