Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Henry Cueller demand Biden appoint a NEW border czar to address the surge in infected migrants putting American communities 'at risk'
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar wrote President Biden asking him to appoint a new 'czar' to tackle the surge of unaccompanied migrants – with a blunt warning about what they say are health risks.
The bipartisan pair wrote Biden about the 'escalating situation' at the southern border, and call for a special executive appointment to handle the burden of southern border areas.
Their bicameral concern is 'neither partisan nor political,' they wrote the president.
Graham, a Donald Trump loyalist from South Carolina, and Cuellar, a centrist Democrat from Texas, cite former Obama Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson as a potential candidate. They write that the current influx is 'neither seasonal nor temporary.'
Unstated is that Biden has already tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to focus on the root causes of migration. She visited the southern border after weeks of pressure, but now is planning a trip to Singapore and Vietnam.
They write that border agents are testing positive for COVID-19 at 'alarming rates.'
They cite Johnson's 'exceptional bipartisan reputation for pragmatic approaches to complex border security and immigration challenges' – on an issue that has increasingly taken on partisan tones.
Former U.S. ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson stepped down from the role this year.
Many Republicans have blasted new mask mandates by pointing to the risk of immigrants released into the community who may be carrying the highly infections Delta variant, which is already sweeping across the country.
They wrote Biden and Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, border agents 'had over 20,000 enforcement encounters last week.'
Cuellar said of border agents: 'They don't need pats on the back. They need help down there on the border. Something has to change when it comes to border immigration issues.'