Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Wednesday slammed President Biden's decision to tap Vice President Harris as the leading administration official to oversee the crisis at the southern border, saying she was the "worst possible choice."
"At no point in her career has [Harris] given any indication that she considers the border a problem or a serious threat," Ducey said Wednesday, according to the Arizona Republic. "If President Biden's intent was to show that he's taking this issue seriously ... he's really done the exact opposite."
Speaking at the White House hours earlier, Biden said Harris was uniquely qualified to oversee efforts to control the recent surge of migrants crossing the border illegally, many times with children, while seeking asylum.
“I have asked her, the VP, today, because she is the most qualified person to do it, to lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle and the countries that are going to need help in stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border,” Biden said.
The Biden administration has come under criticism in recent weeks for its handling of the southern border, where authorities estimate hundreds of migrants are crossing per day and journalists have been kept from viewing detention facilities where children are being kept.
Republicans on Capitol Hill have seized on the recent influx of migrants to the country, saying the Biden's administration's promise to give asylum to some 11 million immigrants currently living in the country is encouraging mass migration from other countries.
Some Democrats have criticized the Department of Homeland Security for its treatment of migrant children.
"I've been governor under three presidents, and this is by far the worst situation we've seen," Ducey said, according to the newspaper. "Washington has never been more out of touch, and it starts at the top."
Arizona is one of the states most directly affected by the crisis at the southern border, with one town this week declaring a state of emergency over the number of migrants being dropped off there by federal authorities.
“To drop people in basically the middle of nowhere, it's 30 miles to the next type of town, and that’s 30 miles of open desert. So especially come July and August, we’re going to be finding bodies,” Chris Riggs, the mayor of Gila Bend, Ariz., said on Tuesday.