The vice president, tasked with addressing the root causes of migration, has faced criticism from Republicans for not visiting the region sooner.
Following weeks of pressure from her political opponents, Vice President Kamala Harris will now visit the U.S. – Mexico border as part of her duty to address the root causes of migration.
The trip to the border will be the first since being elected as the vice president. It also comes as Harris is grappling to navigate the thorny politics of her duty. She was struggling to respond to politicians who have been criticizing her for not visiting the border sooner.
Kamala Harris said it's not her first trip to the border.
But it is her first trip as the border czar.
I had been to D.C. before I was elected…but if I never showed up after I was elected my constituents would fire me.https://t.co/jdIop6bNjw
— Rep. Pat Fallon (@RepPatFallon) June 25, 2021
Harris’s trip came shortly after Trump announced he will be visiting the border
This Friday, Harris is scheduled to tour a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, and the El Paso Processing Center, with legal service providers and nonprofit organizations in the area.
The vice president will also be joined by Rep. Veronica Escobar who represents the El Paso area, Sen. Dic Durbin of Illinois, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
During the visit, Harris is expected to deliver a speech and take some questions from reporters.
Harris’s chief spokesperson, Symone Sanders, stated that the vice president’s trip to the border is about “building on the work” that Harris has been doing. Sanders added that the trip will not just be a “go and see” trip.
No doubt in my mind that Vice President Harris’s long-overdue visit to the U.S.-Mexico border was prompted by President Trump’s decision to visit the border next week.
The Biden/Harris team could not afford to allow Trump to visit the border first. Great job, President Trump.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 23, 2021
Harris’ announcement to visit the border comes shortly after former President Trump announced that he would be visiting the Southern border next week; Trump’s visit will happen together with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and a group of Republican lawmakers.
White House: Harris’s visit to the border is not politically motivated
However, the White House tried to shrug off hints that Harris’s visit to the border on Friday is politically motivated.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also mentioned that the Bidden administration decided that now is the “appropriate time” for Harris to travel to the border because of the “great deal of progress” the administration is making towards the crisis at the border.
It can be noted that earlier, the White House mentioned that a vice-presidential visit to the border could be “disruptive” to the efforts that the Biden administration was making on the issue.
However, Gov. Abbott stated that the vice president is ignoring the real problem: areas along the border that are not covered by the border wall and are being overrun by “ill-thought-out open-border policies” of the Biden administration.
In their defense, leftist Senator Bernie Sanders stated they chose El Paso because it represents what is happening at the border starting from California all the way to Texas and also for its “symbolism”.
Sanders added that El Paso is the origin of the Trump administration’s “family separation policy.”
Although partisan politics is expected to defend Harris’ trip this Friday, the vice president will still be forced to face major policy issues.