‘MISSING AT THE BORDER’: Scalise crafts milk carton with Harris’ face for her failure to visit border amid crisis

Source: Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) of NBC News

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) brought a milk carton with Vice President Kamala Harris‘s picture and the words “MISSING AT THE BORDER” to the Capitol on Wednesday.

A throwback to the “missing child” advertisements plastered on many U.S. milk cartons starting in the early 1980s, the tongue-in-cheek prop criticizes her for refusing to visit the U.S.-Mexico border yet amid a record-breaking surge in migrants crossing it, especially unaccompanied children. It also slams her for what Republicans argue is the Biden administration’s lack of urgency in handling the massive influx of people.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Number of unaccompanied minors at border hits all-time high in March

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden tapped his No. 2 to spearhead his administration’s effort to manage the flow of migrants illegally crossing into the U.S. through Mexico. However, administration officials subsequently specified that Harris’ role would focus on the Northern Triangle nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, from which most of the migrants are fleeing.

Biden, like Harris, has neither visited the border nor the overcrowded migrant detention facilities yet since the crisis began to kick into gear during February.

MORE ON THE BORDER: VP Harris goes 18 days without a press conference on the border crisis after assuming role

Explaining on Wednesday to “Fox Across America with Jimmy Failla” why he brought the milk carton to a press conference at the Capitol about the border crisis, Scalise said it was to “maybe just shame her into going”.

“Biden put Vice President Harris in charge of this crisis and she won’t even go see it,” the Louisiana Republican said. “And so after calling on her to go multiple times, and she just continues to say she’s not going to go, I said let’s put a milk carton with her picture on it saying ‘MISSING’ and maybe just shame her into going, because what you see down there is alarming. It’s disgusting what they’re doing to these young children, it’s abusive and neglectful.”

Migrants, especially thousands of unaccompanied children, have been placed in overcrowded detention facilities with poor accommodations, in spite of the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Border crisis ‘goes way past politics’: Border official discusses dangers migrants face on the journey to the U.S.

“We should have put an 800-Number or something on there so she could call me and I’ll take her down there myself,” Scalise remarked. “She’s got her own plane. I mean, she’s got a pretty fancy plane. So she could get down there to see that if she wanted to.”

“But in all seriousness,” he said, shifting his tone, “the fact that she’s the Vice President of the United States and President Biden put her in charge of this crisis and she won’t go down and see it, it’s one thing to say, well, she’s going to go down to maybe Venezuela or one of the other South or Central American countries. You don’t have to have any negotiation. They created this crisis in Washington, D.C. The problem can be fixed in Washington, D.C., but at a minimum, go see it in Texas. Go see the mess you’ve created in the United States of America before you start, you know, traipsing off to other countries.”

Scalise added that he’ll “sign the milk carton and give it to her if she just does her job and goes to the border and actually sees the national disgrace they’ve created, both she and President Biden with this policy that’s abusing and neglecting these kids.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.