by GAGOP Chairman David Shafer
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the world’s busiest drawing room. Georgia is famous for her hospitality and every day we greet thousands of guests with warmth.
A prominent politician came to Georgia on Friday and, as inhospitable as it may sound, she should have been elsewhere.
Vice President Kamala Harris visited Atlanta to encourage Georgians to take the COVID-19 vaccine developed by President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed. Since Governor Kemp opened vaccinations to all Georgians, daily COVID rates in the Peach State have dropped to 3% of their previous level.
But while Vice President Harris was in Georgia telling Georgians to do things that many Georgians have already done, she’s ignoring her actual job – the job President Biden gave her – addressing the humanitarian event, public safety and national security crisis on our border with Mexico.
In fact, in the nearly three months since President Biden tasked her with solving the border crisis, she has not visited the border once. She has traveled everywhere from Guatemala to Georgia to avert her eyes from the catastrophe the Biden Administration has created with its no-enforcement, open-border invitation to the rest of the world.
Illegal border crossings are up to levels not seen in two decades. More than 180,000 people crossed the border illegally in May, a 76% increase since February, the Biden Administration’s first full month in office. That’s at least 20% greater than the highest numbers seen during the Trump Administration.
There’s a surge of repeat offenders, too. An astounding 38% of the illegal aliens apprehended in May had been detained at least once before in the last year, up from 15% over the previous five years. More deadly fentanyl has also been seized so far in 2021 than throughout all of 2020.
Even more alarmingly, the recent surge across the border are not the family units or refugees we have seen previously. Detentions of single adults – who pose substantially greater public health and safety threats – have increased by 10,000.
Real leaders have recognized the crisis on our southern border. Governor Kemp visited a unit of the Georgia National Guard deployed to patrol the border and has been a vocal advocate of border security. Our 45th President, Donald Trump, is headed there himself.
Mind you, Vice President Harris has had time to travel. She visited Central America this month, where NBC’s Lester Holt called her out for not visiting the border and she flippantly stated that it’s fine that she hasn’t visited the border disaster yet — she hasn’t been to Europe either.
While I do not begrudge the Vice President her chance to see the Eiffel Tower on her next European junket, and in normal times would be delighted to have snap selfies at the Big Chicken and Centennial Park, right now she should do the job President Biden gave her and go to the border.
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David Shafer is the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.