Kamala Harris told reporters upon her arrival in El Paso, Texas, Friday morning, that her long-awaited visit to the U.S.-Mexico border was not her first trip to the border.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Harris after she stepped off the plane why right now was the right time to make her first trip to the border.
“It’s not my first trip, I’ve been to the border many times,” she snapped, going on to claim the visit had been planned for months.
“Because as I’ve long said, I said back in March I was going to come to the border so this is not a new plan, but the reality of it is we have to deal with the causes and we have to deal with the effects,” she said.
“And being in Guatemala, and being in Mexico talking with Mexico as a partner frankly on the issue, was about addressing the causes and coming to the border at the advice and invitation of [Rep. Veronica Escobar] is about looking at the effects of what we have seen happening in Central America,” she said.
REPORTER: "Why did you decide that right now was the right time to make your first trip to the border?"
KAMALA: "Well, it's not my first trip… I said back in March I was going to come to the border so this is not a new plan." pic.twitter.com/haqOam6Xvb
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 25, 2021
In answering the question the way she did, Harris had apparently referred to visits she had made to the border as senator, but the question was, of course, intended to address her decision to finally visit the border as vice president.
Harris has faced intense criticism from both Republicans and Democrats over her failure to visit the border after being appointed “migration czar” in March to address the massive surge in migration. During her disastrous two-day trip to Guatemala and Mexico earlier this month, Harris stressed that her focus was to address the “root causes” or migration, rather than border enforcement. Republicans say the Biden administration lax policies are to blame for the surge, an opinion shared by the presidents of Guatemala and Mexico.
Border states have been swamped with illegal immigration crossing the border since Biden took office in January and reversed former President Trump’s successful border policies.
While in El Paso, Harris will visit a processing center and Border Patrol facility and receive an operational briefing, Fox News reported. She will be accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, and Rep. Escobar.
As their motorcade departed the US Customs and Border Protection Central Processing Center, a group of protesters held signs that read, “Kamala You Know Trump Won,” “Pro-America, Anti-Biden,” “the spirit of America starts at the border,” and “Kamala, your silence is complicity.”
(Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
I’m hearing K wanted to change the route to avoid the protesters https://t.co/ysyhRw9E4O
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) June 25, 2021
During a press conference with faith leaders at the border, Friday, Harris seemed to blame conditions at the border on the previous administration.
“We inherited a tough situation,” she said.
Harris is visiting an area in El Paso that isn’t severely impacted by the immigration crisis, according to a retired area law enforcement officials.
During an interview on “Fox & Friends,” retired CBP Chief Patrol Agent Rosendo Hinojosa said, “it’s interesting that it almost took 100 days for the vice president to make it to the border. But she’s showing up at the wrong address, like Representative Henry Cuellar said, who’s a good partner for the Border Patrol and DHS as a whole down here.”
Former El Paso U.S. Marshall Robert Almonte told Fox News that Harris “really needs to visit other areas that are more affected by the crisis.”