U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris is scheduled to visit the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday for the first time since President Biden assigned Harris the task of addressing the root causes of migration of thousands of people from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, as well as Mexico.
Republicans have hammered Harris and President Joe Biden for refusing to visit the border in person during the first few months of their administration. With the increase in migrants at the southern border, not only Republicans, but many Democrats and U.S. citizens have assailed Harris for not having already made a border visit.
Harris has not given any excuses for the delay to go since Biden assigned her the task of addressing the root causes of the heavy migration crisis. She did visit Mexico and Guatemala earlier this month, but not the southern border.
Harris will travel to El Paso, Texas on Friday with Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, her spokeswoman, Symone Sanders said. Her trip will come less than a week before former President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the southern border and he will be accompanied by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
The announcement Wednesday from Harris’ office failed to satisfy her Republican detractors, such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who said El Paso is not “the location of the crisis. Cruz said on Fox News, “She’s going where the height of the problem isn’t.”
In a statement later Wednesday, Trump took credit for pushing Harris to make the trip, and said, “If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going next week, she would have never gone!”
A report by New York-based Human Rights First, documents cases of migrants and asylum seekers stuck in Mexico since Biden took office on January 20. Nearly 3,300 of the stranded migrants and asylum seekers have been kidnapped, raped, trafficked or assaulted. This number has jumped from 500 logged in April to the 3,300 by mid-June.
Democrat President Biden has moved to reverse many of the restrictive immigration polies of the former Republican President Trump, but at the same time has left in place a border policy known as Title 42, expelling in five months more than 400,00-migrants detained at or near the border, including many Central American families and asylum seekers, who will be sent back to Mexico.