- Kamala Harris will travel to the US-Mexico border on Friday, Psaki announced.
- She will visit the border with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
- Republicans have attacked Harris for not personally taking a trip to the border.
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Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to the US-Mexico border on Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Wednesday.
Harris will visit the border with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and make a stop in El Paso, Texas, Psaki told reporters during a news conference.
The trip is part of Harris’ ongoing efforts to “address the root causes” of migration and “get the situation under control,” Psaki said.
Harris’ upcoming visit comes as Republicans continue to attack the Biden administration for its handling of the rise in migrants at the southern border over the past few months. Former President Donald Trump and around a dozen House Republicans announced plans to visit the border next Wednesday.
Psaki denied that the timing of Harris’ trip had anything to do with Trump’s visit.
“We made an assessment within our government about when it was an appropriate time for her to go to the border,” Psaki said.
Trump swiftly responded to the news on Wednesday, claiming he influenced Harris’ travel plans.
“After months of ignoring the crisis at the Southern Border, it is great that we got Kamala Harris to finally go and see the tremendous destruction and death that they’ve created – a direct result of Biden ending my very tough but fair Border policies,” Trump said in a statement.
“Harris and Biden were given the strongest Border in American history,” he added. “And now, it is by far the worst in American history. If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going there next week, she would have never gone!”
President Joe Biden tapped Harris in March as the administration’s point-person on immigration affairs. She has been tasked with navigating diplomatic efforts between the US and Central American countries, primarily Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Since then, Republicans have repeatedly slammed Harris for not personally taking a trip to the southern border.
Earlier this month, Harris pushed back on the criticism, saying other top administration officials have visited the border and she will too “at some point.” She also reiterated that her focus is on figuring out the underlying causes of migration.
“We are going to the border. We’ve been to the border,” she told NBC News’ Lester Holt in an interview that aired on June 8.
“You haven’t been to the border,” Holt responded.
“And I haven’t been to Europe,” Harris said. “I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the border. … I care about what’s happening at the border.”