FILE - Border wall

Part of a border wall along the U.S. border with Mexico in Arizona

(The Center Square) – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has extended an invitation to Vice President Kamala Harris to receive a first-hand perspective of what’s happening along the country’s southern border. 

In a letter sent to Harris’ office, Brnovich invited the vice president, who President Joe Biden said would be the point person on the growing number of migrants coming from Central America, though others in the administration have walked that title back. 

“Recently, you stated, ‘You have to see and smell and feel the circumstances of people to really understand them,’ ” Brnovich wrote Friday, extending the invite for later in the month. “It will provide firsthand insight into what Arizonans, law enforcement officials, and migrants are expecting.” 

The invitation comes as border officials deal with a wave of immigrants seeking asylum on American soil. According to the preliminary data from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol shared with Reuters, officials caught more than 171,000 people attempting to enter the country illegally last month. According to Reuters, that’s the highest monthly total the country’s southern border has seen in decades.

Brnovich noted human trafficking was something Harris was passionate about during her time as California’s attorney general, echoing her 2012 sentiments that a more aggressive and sophisticated response from law endorsement is necessary to combat them.

“Your words ring especially true today,” he wrote.

Brnovich talked about dangerous individuals crossing the border, some of whom are caught. 

Border patrol officials announced Monday the apprehension of two Yemeni men on terrorist watchlists trying to cross the border via Mexico in January and March in California. 

Many of the immigrants are unaccompanied minors hoping they won’t be turned away as adults would. The surge has required a relaxing of COVID-19 protocols and the opening of emergency shelters in southern border states. 

“We will also not waver in our values and our principles as a Nation,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last month in a statement. “Our goal is a safe, legal, and orderly immigration system that is based on our bedrock priorities: to keep our borders secure, address the plight of children as the law requires, and enable families to be together.”

Staff Reporter

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois and Arizona government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Central Illinois and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.