Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

White House defends Kamala's flip-flop on border visit

Take a peek inside Kamala Harris' new home Kamala Harris to visit U.S.-Mexico border, assess migration
Sandy Nunez | 23 June, 2021, 23:35

She will be accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. She visited Mexico and Guatemala earlier this month.

Harris has noted that as a senator from California, she has visited the border in the past, and she has asserted that unless the root causes of migration are addressed the situation at the border will never be fixed.

Republicans have assailed Harris for not having already visited the border.

Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to the southern border on Friday, the administration confirmed Wednesday, following months of Republicans' criticism over the Biden administration's handling of a large increase in families and unaccompanied minors arriving from Central America. "As a part of this ongoing work, the Vice President traveled to Guatemala and Mexico earlier this month and will travel to El Paso on Friday". Harris had said she would do so eventually.

The number of undocumented migrants reaching the US-Mexico border is at the highest level in more than 20 years.

When asked on Wednesday whether Ms Harris was bowing to political pressure, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the vice-president was going because the administration had determined now is the "appropriate time for her to go to the border". This is only a few days before the planned visit of former President Trump, who intends to tour the border with Governor Greg Abbott.

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President Joe Biden assigned Harris the task of addressing the root causes of migration of thousands of people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who cross the US border from Mexico. "Suddenly President Trump is going to the border and they realized, 'Oh crap, we got to do something, '" Cruz told Fox News.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it caught 180,034 migrants in May, the biggest monthly total since April 2000, and up slightly from the previous two months. That's because the Biden administration has continued to use Title 42, a public health order former Trump invoked in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic to kick out migrants without letting them seek asylum.

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Members of her own party were dismayed by some of the comments she made during a joint press conference with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, where she cautioned migrants against making the "dangerous trek" to the US border and warned they would be turned away.

But by the end of the trip, after repeated criticism for her answer to questions around her visiting the border, Harris had pledged to visit the border soon.