Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Sunday accused the Biden team of failing to communicate with local officials about President Biden’s visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas.
“Listen, during this entire time, Joe Biden has not called me. He did not call me, nor [did] his staff call, and let us know, either about his visit or to invite us, until last night. We got a random e-mail to one of my staff members asking if I would be there to meet him on the tarmac,” Abbott said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“They have failed to communicate,” the Texas governor said of the administration.
But Biden’s Homeland Security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, said Sunday that Abbott was the one dragging his feet in talks with the administration on the broader issue of immigration at the southern border.
“Governor Abbott is not collaborating with the federal government on an issue that requires collaboration,” Mayorkas said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We cannot have the rights and the needs of individuals who are seeking humanitarian relief in the United States be exploited for political purposes. We cannot have unilateral governor action that is not coordinated with the federal government to address an issue that is of national importance,” Mayorkas said.
Biden’s Sunday trip to the border is his first as president, and comes amid growing concerns among border-state Republican governors over the record numbers of migrants trying to cross into the U.S.
Abbott and other Republicans at the state and federal levels have been pressuring Biden to make the visit but continued on Sunday to criticize Democrats’ border policies.
“It’s clear that immigration is a political issue that extreme Republicans are always going to run on. But now they have a choice: They can keep using immigration to try to score political points or they can help solve the problem,” Biden said in remarks at the White House last week.
Abbott on Sunday said the president’s trip is “two years too late.”
“All he’s going to do down there is rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. He’s not going to achieve any solutions that will make the border safer, more secure and stop illegal immigration,” Abbott said.