Vice President Kamala Harris is defending herself for not traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border — at least not yet.
Since being tapped to lead the effort with Mexico to stem the flow of immigrants to the U.S., Harris has faced criticism by Republicans for not traveling to the southern border. This comes as there has been a surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Harris was asked by NBC News’ Lester Holt if she has plans to visit the southern border at some point, to which she responded, “I – at some point – you know – we are going to the border. We’ve been to the border. So this whole – this whole – this whole thing about the border. We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border.”
“You haven’t been to the border,” Holt pressed.
Harris replied, “I haven’t been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t – I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the border,” before adding, “Listen, I care about what’s happening at the border.”
Harris added that she visited Guatemala to help deal with “the root causes of migration.”
See Harris’s comments below:
“We have to deal with what's happening at the border.”@VP Kamala Harris spoke exclusively with @LesterHoltNBC on her first trip overseas, how the administration is addressing the immigration crisis, and if she plans to visit the southern border herself. pic.twitter.com/sA4We7peeR
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 8, 2021
Harris was in Guatemala City on Monday and is in Mexico city on Tuesday.
The vice president said at a press conference on Monday, “I want to emphasize that the goal of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope at home,” as IJR reported on.
“At the same time, I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border, do not come, do not come,” she added.
Harris continued, “The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border. There are legal methods by which migration can and should occur. But we, as one of our priorities, will discourage illegal migration. And I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back.”
The vice president’s team recently sought to distance Harris from the idea that she manages the U.S.-Mexico border. As CNN reports, “Harris and her staff have made it clear that they want to focus narrowly on diplomatic efforts in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where they believe they are more likely to achieve tangible results in addressing the root causes of migration, like economic despair, said the officials.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.