After receiving criticism for not traveling to the southern U.S.-Mexico border in order to address the surge of migration, Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday that she plans to go to Guatemala and Mexico to trace the “root causes” of the immigration crisis sometime soon.
She still has no plans, however, to travel to the United States-Mexico border.
At a virtual roundtable with different specialists in the area, Harris told reporters, “Our focus is to deal with the root causes, and I’m looking forward to traveling, hopefully as my first trip to the Northern Triangle stopping in Mexico and then going to Guatemala sometime soon.”
"These are issues that are not going to be addressed overnight…our focus is to deal with the root causes," Vice Pres. Harris says about migrant surge at the border, adding she plans to travel to Mexico and Guatemala. https://t.co/Wpn0Nh7Apr pic.twitter.com/HgDuvdD8kC
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 14, 2021
At the end of last month, The Daily Wire reported that Harris had no plans to visit the United States-Mexico border after President Joe Biden gave her the job of handling what became known as the “child migrant crisis.” Harris instead planned to use “diplomacy” to handle the issue.
The Daily Wire reported:
Like her boss, President Joe Biden, Harris has no plans to see the situation on the southern border firsthand.
“Vice President Kamala Harris won’t be on the ground at the Southwest border anytime soon as she leads efforts to address a rise in migrants trying to enter the country,” The Associated Press reported. “Harris has no plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border region ‘in the near future,’ spokeswoman Symone Sanders said Friday.”
“The vice president is not doing the border,” Sanders said.
Instead, Sanders added, Harris will receive briefings from Mexican and Central American officials, though, as of last Friday, she had not met with anyone about the issue.
“You can expect she will be speaking with leaders from the region in the near future,” Sanders said.
Earlier this month, Harris notably went to California without visiting the border. Instead, the vice president decided to join Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom at a water treatment facility where she gave a short speech on “water equity.”
The Daily Wire reported:
Although Harris did not discuss the child migrant crisis, the federal government is considering at least two more temporary detention facilities inside the state of California to hold the ever-increasing number of unaccompanied minors being captured at the United States-Mexico border, also according to the L.A. Times. The situation is so dire that California’s state government is polling foster families, looking for extra beds, per Fox News.
Some California families report they are being asked to house as many as 26 migrant children at a time.
Harris again clarified on Wednesday that she will be in charge of looking into the root issues of migration, while Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will lead efforts at the United States border with Mexico. She said that it is important to not only address the “symptoms” of the problem, but also the causes.
“It will not be obvious overnight,” Harris said. “The work we have to do is going to require a commitment that is continuous that we institutionalize with our partners, and that is the work that I am prepared to do which is to begin that process of meaningful work knowing that we’re going to have to have a long term strategy and it will take some time to see the benefits of that work.”
According to NPR reporting, the number of migrants met at the U.S.-Mexico border last month was the highest in at least 15 years as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents took in almost 172,000 people.
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