Vice President Kamala Harris has scheduled a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, just days after former President Donald Trump announced his own trip.
Harris’ visit, first reported by Politico, will take place on Friday, where she will make a stop in El Paso, Texas.
The outlet cites multiple sources familiar with the trip and indicates she will be joined by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the journey.
“Harris and her team have repeatedly pushed back at criticism that neither she nor the president have gone to visit the U.S.-Mexico border,” Politico writes.
The administration, they note, has argued that Harris “is more focused on tackling the destabilizing conditions that are causing thousands of migrants from Central America to head to the border seeking refuge.”
Breaking: Vice President Kamala Harris is heading to the U.S.-Mexico border this week, amid an unrelenting chorus of criticism from Republicans over her failure to visit there https://t.co/ouro9BDReg
— POLITICO (@politico) June 23, 2021
Harris Following Trump’s Lead With Border Visit
As Fox News reports, Vice President Kamala Harris has gone 91 days without actually visiting the border since being named as President Biden’s point person on the border crisis.
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And while this surprise announcement means she will be there earlier than expected, there is little doubt Harris is following Trump’s lead.
It was just one week ago that the former President announced he’d accepted an invitation from Texas Governor Greg Abbott to visit the southern border by the end of the month.
“The Biden Administration inherited from me the strongest, safest, and most secure border in U.S history, and in mere weeks they turned it into the single worst border crisis in U.S history,” Trump said in a statement at the time.
Roughly a dozen House Republicans will join Trump on his visit to survey the damage at the border caused by the Biden administration.
B911 POLL: Do you anticipate @VP Kamala Harris will visit the Southern Border before Donald Trump’s scheduled trip on June 30th?
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 16, 2021
Harris Claimed Border Visit Would Be Just A ‘Grand Gesture’
Kamala Harris’ trip to the southern border will mark quite a turnaround from comments she made earlier this month.
The Vice President downplayed visiting the border to see the crisis for herself, suggesting it would amount to little more than a “grand gesture.”
When NBC host Lester Holt pointed out she hadn’t yet visited a crisis she was placed in charge of, Harris snapped, “And I haven’t been to Europe.”
Cringe. Kamala Harris doesn’t get it.
Holt: “Do you have any plans to visit the border?”
Harris: “We’ve been to the border. We’ve been the border.”
Holt: “YOU haven’t been to the border.”
Harris: “…..and I haven’t been to Europe. I don’t understand the point you’re making.” pic.twitter.com/fFXMf8X0b6
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) June 8, 2021
“I will continue to be focused on that kind of work as opposed to grand gestures,” Harris said during a trip to Guatemala to find the “root causes” of the illegal immigration surge.
An Axios report reveals that the number of illegal immigrants coming into the country through the southern border has reached its highest level in over a decade – with four months left in the fiscal year.
I guess when you’re about to be shown up by Trump, you make that pointless “grand gesture” after all. https://t.co/R8Lvw6qEhE
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) June 23, 2021
Within hours of the news breaking that Harris would be making a visit to the border, Trump issued a statement indicating he was the motivating factor.
“After months of ignoring the crisis at the Southern Border, it is great that we got Kamala Harris to finally go and see the tremendous destruction and death that they’ve created—a direct result of Biden ending my very tough but fair Border policies,” he said.
“Harris and Biden were given the strongest Border in American history. And now, it is by far the worst in American history,” Trump continued.
“If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going there next week, she would have never gone!”
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