Nikki Haley, former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina governor, visited the nation’s southern border Monday, becoming the first Republican presidential candidate in the 2024 race to do so.  

“What I’d say to President [Joe] Biden is, ‘Shame on you,’” Haley told Fox News’ Harris Faulkner during her trip to the border.  

“You are putting every single American at risk,” Haley said, as if speaking to Biden. “This is a national security threat. You are allowing illegal immigrants to come across the border that are putting weight on our law enforcement, they’re hurting our families, they’re following into our schools, they’re going into our hospitals,” she said, adding: “Shame on you, President Biden. This is your job. Your job is to protect the American people [and] you’re not doing it. You don’t deserve to be president.”  

Haley toured portions of the Del Rio sector, which spans 245 miles in Texas along the U.S. border with Mexico. The Del Rio sector continues to experience some of the highest numbers of encounters with illegal aliens among the Department of Homeland Security’s nine southern border sectors.  

The Border Patrol encountered 480,931 illegal aliens in the Del Rio sector in fiscal year 2022. Since the start of fiscal year 2023 on Oct. 1, the Border Patrol has encountered 193,598 illegal aliens there, a number surpassed only by the El Paso sector, with over 224,000 such encounters so far this fiscal year.  

Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, accompanied Haley on her border tour. It started in Hondo, Texas, where Gonzales says residents have faced challenges as illegal aliens enter the U.S. on a train that runs from Mexico through San Antonio.

Haley and Gonzales then traveled to Del Rio, Texas, to visit a shoe factory before meeting with local ranchers, the county judge, and the sheriff. The former U.N. ambassador saw “firsthand the hell that they’re dealing with,” Gonzales said during a press conference Monday afternoon.  

Haley and the Texas congressman spent time with a family who recently lost a 7-year-old daughter and the child’s grandmother in a car crash with a human smuggler. Haley finished her trip in Eagle Pass, Texas, where she met with another rancher and held a press conference.  

“What I saw today was a dereliction of duty,” Haley said, adding that “there’s really no border” in the nation’s southwest.

“He thinks if he doesn’t talk about the border crisis it doesn’t exist,” Haley said of Biden. “He thinks if he tells [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas not to call it a crisis, it won’t happen.”

“This is a crisis,” she said, adding: “And it’s not just a crisis for the people of Texas; this is a crisis for every American family.”  

If elected president, Haley would work to secure America’s borders, Ken Farnaso, Haley’s campaign press secretary, told The Daily Signal

“Joe Biden caused the crisis at our southern border with his terrible policies, and then ignored it for two years,” Farnaso said. “Leaders show up. That’s why Nikki Haley is going to the border. As president, she will enact a national E-Verify program, stop handouts to illegal immigrants, and replace Biden’s new IRS agents with 25,000 new Border Patrol and ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] workers.” 

Haley is one of four Republicans who officially have announced a bid for the presidency in 2024. In addition to former President Donald Trump’s campaign for a nonconsecutive second term, entrepreneur-activist Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also have announced they are running for president.  

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