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June 8, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris downplayed the importance of having yet to visit the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday as Republicans continued to criticize her and accuse her of not taking the issue seriously. 


In an interview, NBC News’ Lester Holt asked Harris—who was tasked by President Joe Biden with handling the border crisis in March—why she has yet to travel to the border.

Harris responded that she would visit “at some point,” before launching into an impassioned defense of the Biden White House.

“We’ve been to the border,” Harris asserted several times, before Holt noted that while members of the Biden administration may have visited, the vice president has yet to.


Visibly disgruntled by the question, Harris sarcastically replied that she also has yet to travel to Europe, before telling Holt she doesn’t “understand the point” he’s making.

“I care about, listen, I care about what’s happening at the border,” Harris said. “I’m in Guatemala because my focus is dealing with the root cause of migration.”

In March, Biden dispatched Harris to handle the migration crisis and to meet with Central American nations to address the root causes of the issue. The NBC News interview aired during the first leg of Harris’ first foreign trip as vice president, which is intended to focus on immigration. Harris traveled to Guatemala on Monday, and there urged undocumented migrants to stay away from the U.S. border. “Do not come,” she said. Harris will travel to Mexico on Tuesday and is scheduled to meet with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.   

Immigration has devolved into a crisis since Biden took over in January. More migrants have crossed the border this fiscal year than any year since 2006. 

Last week, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.), whose district includes the border, encouraged Biden and Harris to pay a visit. “We certainly encourage the vice president, the president to come visit the border,” Cuellar told Fox News in an interview. “I think it's important.” 

Republicans—who have made Harris’ absence at the border a frequent talking point—jumped on the vice president’s comments Tuesday. “The Vice President thinks the border crisis is a hilarious joke,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote in a tweet linking to the video. Stephen Miller, President Donald Trump’s former senior advisor who specialized in immigration, replied,  “The lack of respect displayed by @VP for the citizens of this nation is beyond appalling.”

In March, Trump told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro he would visit the border in the “coming weeks” but no trip has been made. Forbes has reached out to Trump’s team about whether the former president still plans to visit.

Source: Forbes
Image Source: Getty Images