Harris Protested at the Border in 2018, but Hasn’t Visited Since Taking Migrant Role

"Kamala Harris with supporters" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

Vice President Kamala Harris received a backlash from Republicans and former Trump officials for her failure to visit the U.S.- Mexico border. This failure to visit the border comes despite the fact that she visited the region in 2018 to protest Trump-era policies. 

In March, Harris was appointed by Biden to address the ongoing crisis at the Southern border. However, 59 days have gone and Harris hasn’t visited the region. She also has gone 59 days without a news conference. 

In their defense, the White House stated that Harris’ role is not the border alone. Instead, she is tapped to focus on addressing the “root causes” of the crisis. However, critics pushed back and argued that to achieve that goal the VP should first see what is happening at the border. 

Former acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf stated last month at if Harris is actually addressing the issue, she needs to do both. She has to go to the border, learn about the conditions experienced there, and talk to Border Patrol officers. Wolf added that Harris has to have firsthand knowledge of what these people are experiencing. 

Even though the VP has planned trips to Mexico and Guatemala next month, there are no signs that she will be visiting the border anytime soon. 

Harris Protested at the Southern Border in 2018

“Kamala Harris with supporters” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

This move is in strike contrast with her persistence in 2018. As a California senator, Harris visited the San Diego border with Mexico. She claimed that the former Trump administration has a zero-tolerance policy which, according to her, has led to the separation of children and adults. She also labeled it as “human rights abuse.”

Back then, Harris even made moves to speak with migrants at the border.

Harris stated that she spoke with migrant mothers who were there. She was then met with cheers from protesters who were holding signs saying “Abolish ICE.”

Accordingly, Harris also condemned the practice of keeping migrants in ICE detention facilities. A move that is still occurring during the Biden-Harris administration.

Then vs. Now

In the protest, Harris back then mentioned that she is a career prosecutor and that she has visited plenty of prisons and jails. She then said, “this is a prison,” referring to the facilities where migrants were being held during the Trump administration. 

However, now that she is in office as the Vice President, Harris is silent. She has even gone over 50 days without visiting the border nor even held a press conference. This made her highly criticized by Republicans. 

In relation to this, Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) introduced a bill. Said bill would bar taxpayer funding the VP’s travel elsewhere until she visits the border. 

Hinson told Fox News in an interview that Harris is putting yarn shops and bakeries before the border. She added that the VPs zoom call with the Mexican President sends the wrong message to the people who are risking their lives every day.