On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris said that she will travel to Guatemala and Mexico despite facing criticism for her alleged lack of action on the border crisis.
VP Harris told the pool today that she has no plans to visit the Southern border, but will participate in an upcoming visit to Mexico/Guatemala. "The President has asked Sec. Mayorkas to address what is going on at the border… I have been asked to address the root causes"
— Alana Abramson (@aabramson) April 14, 2021
As Harris faces intense criticism for her alleged lack of action on the border crisis, the VP announced on Wednesday that she will go overseas as part of her tole in tackling the “root causes” of the swirling migration crisis at the southern border.
Harris said at a Nothern Triangle security roundtable that the President asked Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to address what is going on at the border. She added that Mayorkas has been working very hard on that and is showing some “progress” because of his hard work.
The Vice President added, “I have been asked to lead the issue of dealing with root causes in the Northern Triangle, similar to what the then-Vice President did many years ago. But I will tell you these are issues that aren’t going to be addressed overnight.”
— Senate Republicans (@NRSC) April 14, 2021
In relation to her plans for travel, Harris stated that they have plans in the works to go to Guatemala as soon as possible, adding that they will also stop by in Mexico.
At present, the Biden administration has been struggling to handle the massive influx of migrants at the border; an event that critics said is fueled by the administration’s refusal to describe it as a crisis and calling it a “challenge” instead which they blamed were inherited from the prior administration.
Harris was then tapped by Biden to lead with what the White House describes as “root causes” of the crisis. Biden stated that “Harris had agreed to lead our diplomatic effort and work with those nations to accept the returnees, and enhance migration enforcement at their borders – at their borders.”
However, the Vice President faced criticism for not visiting the border, something that a visit to Guatemala and Mexico does not seem to resolve.
The border detention facility, made accessible to American journalists, shows an overcrowded tent structure housing more than 4,100 people, the majority including children as young as 3. https://t.co/lgmC0Vlh7L
— The African Exponent (@africanexponent) April 7, 2021
Meanwhile, images of child migrants packed in border facilities surfaced on the internet in the past few weeks. Historic numbers of migrant apprehension were also recorded this year which increased the pressure on the Biden administration to address the ongoing crisis.
So far, the Biden administration has already built a number of extra facilities and also has come into an agreement with countries south of the border for them to increase troop presences at their borders.
On Wednesday, at the House Republican press conference, GOP displayed a milk carton with Harris’ picture on it with a slogan saying “Missing at the Border.”
House GOP Whip #SteveScalise of #Louisiana uses milk carton as a prop to allege VP #KamalaHarris is "missing" on border surge
-Southern politics are always on the menu at ChickenFriedPolitics.com-https://t.co/k1JH50uopv
— ChickenFriedPolitics (@ChkFriPolitics) April 14, 2021
The White House also faced criticism by stating that Harris will be involved in “high-level diplomatic” work, but not the border itself.
White House communications director Kate Bedding field stated on MSNBC, “This is diplomatic work that ultimately, over the long term, will address the migration issues we’re seeing. It’s not an assignment to ‘handle the border’.” Bedingfield added, “What she’s doing is high-level diplomatic work that is incredibly important to our economic stability in the hemisphere.”
Former DHS official however, brushed off that defense and stated that those talks require Harris to also know about what is going on at the border.
(2 of 2) @VP Harris added, "I'm looking forward to traveling, hopefully, it's my first trip to the Northern Triangle, stopping in Mexico and Guatemala sometime soon."
— Tim Perry (@tperry518) April 14, 2021
On Tuesday, at a Heritage Foundation press conference, Chad Wolf, former acting DHS Secretary said, “You can’t talk to Northern Triangle countries, or to Mexican officials, without understanding the pressures and the situation and atmosphere on the border. The two are so linked, you can’t do one without the other.”