Sunday, June 23, 2024

Vice President Harris Makes her First Visit to the Southern Border

Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Southern border in El Paso, Texas to see a migrant processing center following the criticism she received for not visiting the US- Mexico border.

The Vice President toured the El Paso Central Processing Center, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility and spoke with 5 young girls from Central America while there. During a news conference at the end of her trip, Harris stated that [the girls were] without their parents. They are also full of hope. They were asking me questions. ‘How do you become the first woman vice president?’ But it also reminds me of the fact that this issue cannot be reduced to a political issue. We’re talking about children. We’re talking about families. We’re talking about suffering. And our approach has to be thoughtful and effective.”

During her visit, she underscored the need to address the root causes of migration, stating during the news conference that “when we have this conversation about what’s happening at the border, let’s not lose sight of the fact that we’re talking about human beings.” Harris’ visit to the southern border came after criticism followed her after her two- day trip to Mexico and Guatemala, where she left some officials perplexed about answers to questions about whether she would visit the border.

During an interview with NBC News, when she was pressed on the fact that she still had not visited the border, Harris responded, “… and I haven’t been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t — I don’t understand the point that you’re making. Harris said with a laugh, adding, “I’m not discounting the importance of the border.” Her answers only intensified GOP criticism of her absence at the border.

When asked why now was the right time to visit the border, Harris said that “being in Guatemala, being in Mexico, and talking with Mexico as a partner, frankly on the issue, was about addressing the causes. And then coming to the border at the advice and actually the invitation of congresswoman Veronica Escobar, is about looking at the effects of what we have seen happening in Central America, and so I’m glad to be here. This was always the plan to come here.”