Joe Biden‘s Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott was ousted Wednesday amid a prevailing migration crisis as the administration plans for an overhaul of leadership to deal with the massive influx of illegal crossings.
The news comes just two days before Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit the U.S.-Mexico border after three months of criticism for not yet making it there.
Scott received notice Wednesday of reassignment, which gave him the option to relocate, resign or retire from his post.
‘I received my 3R letter today,’ Rodney wrote in a Facebook post seen by the Washington Examiner. ‘For those not familiar, that is Federal government slang for the letters issued to SES level employees informing them of directed reassignment.’
‘No rationale or reason is required, nor is it disciplinary,’ Scott continued, adding that the move was made so ‘the new administration can place the person they want in the position.’
He said in the social media post that he will remain in his role for around another 60 days to ensure a smooth transition.
Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday that he was told by President Biden to relocate, resign or retire as the administration prepares to overhaul the agency amid a prevailing migration crisis
‘No rationale or reason is required, nor is it disciplinary,’ Scott wrote in his Facebook post, adding that the move was made so ‘the new administration can place the person they want in the position’
The announcement comes just two days before Vice President Kamala Harris plans to head to the U.S.-Mexico border after three months of pressure from Republicans and some Democrats
Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz will take over on an interim basis.
Just two days ahead of Harris’ trip south, 21 House Republicans, led by Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, introduced a bill to censure Biden over his failure to secure the U.S. border in his more than five months as president.
‘President Biden passed the buck to cackling Kamala, when he tapped Ms. Harris as border czar. Her work on the border is nonexistence, it’s a joke – and even she laughs. But it’s not funny,’ Republican Congresswoman Boebert said in announcing the censure on Wednesday.
‘This administration has not lifted a finger to end this crisis and secure our southern border,’ she continued. ‘They must be held accountable.
The supposed overhaul of Border Patrol comes as the administration continues to take heat for the botched handling of the southern border crisis, which has seen some the largest spikes of illegal crossings in modern history.
Harris has finally caved to pressure to visit the U.S.-Mexico border in her capacity as ‘border czar.’
Former President Donald Trump said that Harris would not have finally scheduled a trip for Friday unless he announced his own trip there next week.
‘After months of ignoring the crisis at the Southern Border, it is great that we got Kamala Harris to finally go and see the tremendous destruction and death that they’ve created—a direct result of Biden ending my very tough but fair Border policies,’ Trump celebrated in a statement from his Save America political action committee email on Wednesday.
‘Harris and Biden were given the strongest Border in American history. And now, it is by far the worst in American history,’ he continued. ‘If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going there next week, she would have never gone!’
Harris announced Wednesday that she will head to the border after 90 days of criticism from Republicans and Democrats over her handling of the crisis, a bungled trip to the Northern Triangle and five straight months of increases in migrant crossings.
The White House announcement came eight days after Trump announced he accepted Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s invitation to survey the southern border the Lone Star State shares with Mexico – and where the majority of encounters occur.
Immigrants walk toward border patrol after crossing the Rio Grande into the U.S. on Monday
Former President Donald Trump will visit Texas next Wednesday alongside Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and GOP House members
President Joe Biden put Harris in charge of dealing with the root causes of the migration crisis, which quickly turned her into the person to blame for the spike in migrants coming into the U.S.
Harris will make a trip to the border in El Paso, Texas alongside Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, her office announced Wednesday.
The vice president will beat Trump to the region by five days.
He claimed in a statement Wednesday that Harris is only giving into pressure to visit the border now because he announced his own impending trip.
About a dozen members of the Republican Study Committee, the largest group of House Republicans, will also join Trump on the trip, Politico reported.
Representative Jim Banks, the head of the Republican Study Group and a lawmaker joining Trump in Texas said: ‘The dual trips offer a great split-screen.’
‘President Trump is the greatest immigration president of our lifetime who devoted four years to fixing the border to protect Americans’ lives and livelihoods,’ he wrote in a Wednesday statement. ‘Kamala Harris is the border czar for an administration that created a national embarrassment and has taken no effort to stop it.’
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing Wednesday that the trip is part of a ‘coordinated effort’ to address ‘root causes’ of mass migration from Northern Triangle countries to the U.S.
‘Earlier this year, as you all know, the president asked the vice president to oversee our diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration from El Salvador, to Guatemala and Honduras and as a part of this work she recently traveled to Guatemala and Mexico last month. This trip to the border on Friday will be a part of this effort,’ Psaki said.
She also reiterated previous comments where she and Harris have both said that the vice president would make a trip to the border when the timing was ‘appropriate.’
A migrant family seeking asylum arrives on U.S. soil after crossing the Rio Grande on June 19, 2021 in Roma, Texas
Harris’ senior advisor and Chief Spokesperson Symone Sanders said in a statement on the visit: ‘Vice President Harris will travel to El Paso, Texas on Friday, June 25,’ ‘She will be accompanied by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.’
‘Vice President Harris will travel to El Paso, Texas on Friday, June 25,’ Harris’ senior advisor and Chief Spokesperson Symone Sanders said in a statement on the visit on Wednesday. ‘She will be accompanied by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.’
‘Earlier this year, the President asked the Vice President to oversee our diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras,’ she continued. ‘As a part of this ongoing work, the Vice President traveled to Guatemala and Mexico earlier this month and will travel to El Paso on Friday.’
Republicans have slammed Harris for not making the trip yet.
‘It reminds me of that old show, ‘Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?’ She’ll go everywhere except the border because she’s afraid of what’s going on down there, and they have no solutions,’ Republican Sen. Ted Cruz told Fox & Friends.
Harris took her first trip abroad earlier this month to Guatemala and Mexico to meet with government and community leaders about the migrants flowing into the U.S.
In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt from Guatemala, Harris was asked why she hadn’t visited the border. ‘Why not see what Americans are seeing in this crisis?’ the newsman asked.
She first answered that why there’s ‘no question’ about the White House having to deal with what’s happening at the border ‘we have to understand that there’s a reason people are arriving at our border and ask what is that reason and then identify the problem so we can fix it.’
This chart shows how 2021 border crossings – pictured in blue – rocketed on crossings made in 2020, represented by the brown line (2018 is pictured in gray, with 2019 in orange)
This graph shows the number of migrants caught by the Office of Field Operation (OFO) and US Border Patrol agents in April and May
Holt then asked if Harris had any plans to visit the border.
‘At some point, you know, we are going to the border. We’ve been to the border. So this whole thing about the border, we’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border,’ she responded.
Holt pointed out, ‘You haven’t been to the border.’
‘And I haven’t been to Europe,’ the vice president said. ‘And I mean, I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the border.’
The response was widely panned.
Harris later snapped at Univision reporter Ilia Calderon, the day after she returned from the trip, telling her ‘I’ve not finished,’ as Calderon pressed when there might be a border trip.
Harris has been given seven roles in Biden’s administration – including the border crisis
‘I’ve said I’m going to the border. And also, if we are going to deal with the problems at the border, we have to deal with the problems that cause people to go to the border – to flee to the border. And that is the root causes,’ Harris said, justifying her first foreign trip being to Guatemala and Mexico.
Biden has loaded Harris down with seven jobs – including running point on migration.
On Monday, Harris was tasked with selling Biden’s Child Tax Credit, with a trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
In early June, the vice president received her fifth and sixth jobs, as the president asked her to go on a vaccine education tour and handle the administration’s efforts to protect voting rights.
Harris was on Capitol Hill Tuesday and presided over Senate Democrats’ failed vote to start debate on a voting rights measure.
Migrant embrace relatives in ‘Hugs, No Walls’ at the border between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico on June 19, 2021
She’s also handling the issues of broadband and space and also leading a pro-union taskforce that would take a ‘whole-of-government approach to empower workers.’
In late March, Biden announced he had tapped Harris to lead the effort to stem migration coming from the Northern Triangle countries – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – and up through Mexico.
Harris, he said, ‘agreed to lead our diplomatic effort to work with those nations.’
Very quickly Harris became a target for Republicans as border crossings soared and she didn’t travel to the border to see the conditions on the ground.
In mid-April, Psaki said the ‘confusion’ surrounding Harris’ role with the migrant crisis is ‘perplexing,’ arguing immigration policy has never been a ‘one-woman’ job.
Psaki also pointed out that Biden, as vice president, had essentially played the same role during the Obama years.
Migrant children are being kept in Biden’s border camps for up to 60 DAYS, are ‘sad every day’ and have limited access to showers and cooked meals, lawsuit claim
Migrant children housed in U.S. pop-up shelters reported overcrowding and long stay times, spoiled or undercooked food and lack of access to showers or clean clothes, according to testimonials filed in court Monday.
Seventeen minor migrants shared accounts with lawyers of their time in emergency shelters after crossing into the U.S. unaccompanied by adults. Some reported depression while others described trouble sleeping with round-the-clock bright lights.
A 13-year-old girl from Honduras wrote that she was placed on the suicide watch list at a shelter in El Paso, Texas set up at Fort Bliss. As of June 4, the girl spent nearly two months at the facility after being separated from her father when crossing a river into the U.S.
‘The food here is horrible,’ she wrote. ‘Yesterday we were given hamburgers but I couldn’t eat it because there was a foul odor coming from the bread.’
‘I really only eat popsicles and juice because that is the only food that I can trust.’
Migrant children in emergency holding facilities, including a massive one at Fort Bliss in Texas, detailed deplorable living conditions including spoiled or undercooked food in testimonials as part of a court filing Monday
Demonstrators outside Fort Bliss on June 8 demand the children be let out of the facilities as more details emerge of long stay times – sometimes exceeding several months – and limited communication with family
The shocking declarations come as hundreds of illegal crossers continue to flow over the southern border from Mexico. Here migrants board a bus oJune 21 to be taken to a processing facility after crossing the Rio Grande into the U.S.
Joe Biden’s administration promised in March that migrant families won’t spend more than 72 hours in U.S. facilities, but unaccompanied minors, on the other hand, shared declarations of months inside emergency shelters in deplorable conditions.
Several claim they have been at the shelters for 60 days or longer.
Lawyers were given access to speak with children in these facilities as they monitor government compliance with the Flores Settlement – a 1997 agreement governing conditions for which detained immigrant children can be kept.
The team of attorneys have interviewed children and conducted site visits at the emergency shelters, which were originally intended for short stays.
‘Every day, I feel really sad. I keep seeing other kids leave,’ a 16-year-old from Guatemala being housed at a facility in Pecos, Texas said in a declaration filed Monday.
She has been at the site for 62 days waiting for reunification with her uncle in Maryland.
‘There are some other kids who have been here for about the same time as me, and there is just a lot of sadness among us,’ she said in a testimonial on her time in an emergency facility.
One Houston site set up by the National Association of Christian Churches was abruptly closed shortly before attorneys were set to visit. More than a dozen girls who were at the site were relocated upon its closure
One 17-year-old girl from Honduras wrote: ‘The food was horrible. There was chicken that was boiled and when we opened the chicken it was raw inside.’ They also detailed fainting spells, lack of clean clothes and restrictions from using the bathroom after 10 p.m.
The Biden administration has sped up processing in Border Patrol detention facilities, more quickly transferring children to Health and Human Services facilities, where there is staff and resources better equipped to deal with the housing the children and working on reunifying them with family.
The children, however, have detailed conditions that are just as bad as when they were being held in detention facilities along the border.
There were nearly 14,500 children in HHS custody as of Sunday, down from the 22,000 in late April. Several hundreds of these nine through 17-year-old children have spent 60 days or more in the department’s emergency intake sites, according to the Monday court filing.
Most children in custody are from Northern Triangle countries – Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Children generally reported in their testimonials that they were only permitted outdoor recreation for ‘as little as one hour daily.’
They also reported little to no privacy, limited calls to family and extreme boredom to the point of sleeping during the day to pass the time.
The Military built six large tents at For Bliss in El Paso, Texas to house migrant children
Testimonials from some children detail that they are only permitted outdoor recreation for ‘as little as one hour daily’
One Houston site, set up by the National Association of Christian Churches, was abruptly closed shortly before attorneys were set to visit, according to National Center for Youth Law immigration director Neha Desai.
More than a dozen girls who were at the site were relocated upon its closure.
One 17-year-old girl from Honduras wrote in her declaration: ‘The food was horrible. There was chicken that was boiled and when we opened the chicken it was raw inside.’
The girls also detailed in testimonials to lawyers that they had fainting spells, inadequate food, lack of clean clothes and restrictions from using the bathroom after 10 p.m.
‘During the day and night, we were told that we had to stay on our beds and could only get up to go to the bathroom and to shower’ a 17-year-old El Salvadorian girl described. ‘We had to eat on our beds because there was no other place to eat.’
She also said she had to wear the same clothes for 15 days and described staff members directing them ‘to wear the same underwear and just turn it inside out, because there wasn’t any laundry to clean our clothes.’
A border patrol officers processes a young man and child on June 21, 2021 after they crossed into the U.S. illegally
Migrant families wait in La Joya, Texas to be taken to border patrol processing facilities
A migrant mother and her son board a border patrol bus to be taken to a processing facility on June 21
Another 17-year-old Guatemalan girl at the Fort Bliss emergency facility said in a declaration dated April 28 that she sleeps on a stacked cot in extreme close quarters under a large white tent with about 300 other girls.
She detailed sleeping difficulties due to rattling noises from the tent’s metal beams and said the tents are cold at night and filled with dirt.
‘A lot of the girls here cry a lot,’ she said. ‘A lot of them end up having to talk to someone because they have thoughts of cutting themselves.’
The testimonials offer a deeper look into the conditions of emergency shelters set up by Biden’s administration to deal with the continuing migration crisis at the southern border.
Since the start of his administration, there has been a sharp influx of migrants crossing illegally into the U.S. – in particular unaccompanied minors, who Biden promised not to turn away at the border.
In May, U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered 180,034 illegal crossers at the southern border, the most of any month so far and an uptick from the previous high of 178,854 who were encountered in April.
In recent months, children have been more swiftly removed from CBP custody into these emergency shelters in an effort to more quickly reconnect them with family members or others in the U.S.