Arizona sheriff frustrated with no VP Harris border visit: ‘We’ve come to accept it’
PHOENIX — Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Arizona on Thursday but won’t visit the southern border, a move that has irked but not surprised an Arizona sheriff.
“We’ve come to accept it,” Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.
“Communities and my fellow sheriffs along the Southwest border that I engage with say that the president and vice president have not prioritized the Southwest border when it comes to national safety, public security or humanitarian efforts.”
President Joe Biden appointed Harris his “border czar” in 2021, but the vice president hasn’t spent time at the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.
Harris and other members of the Biden administration will be in Tonopah, about 50 miles west of downtown Phoenix, to commemorate a power grid infrastructure project.
It’ll be her first trip to Arizona since taking office.
Biden made his first visit to the southern border as president earlier this month, when he got a firsthand look at the situation in El Paso, Texas.
“She comes to a border state but doesn’t come to the border,” Dannels, whose county is in southeastern Arizona along the border, said.
“We’re not even consulted anymore because we accept it as the new norm of our border, which to me is tragic and sad that we don’t take more priorities in our border than what we’re seeing.”
Dannels said if Harris were to come to the border, he’d show her the impact the border crisis has had on Cochise County.
“We need our federal government, we need the resources and most importantly, we need the support from our vice president and president to secure the border,” Dannels said.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nick Sadowski contributed to this report.