In response to Republicans
' unrelenting criticism of her failure to visit the US-Mexico border
since being appointed as immigration
czar, Vice President Kamala Harris
is reportedly planning a trip this week.
Harris's office confirmed that she will arrive in El Paso
, on Friday, alongside Homeland Security
Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
, but no other details about the visit were immediately available.
The news of Harris' visit comes as Republicans continue to accuse her of being unfit for the job because she has not visited the border since Biden appointed her in March to deal
with the rapidly increasing flow of Central American migrants
in the United States
“Despite being in the midst of a border crisis this country has not seen in two decades, Vice President Harris has not yet shown adequate interest in witnessing this crisis firsthand,” Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) wrote to Biden in a letter signed by 56 House
lawmakers last week.
NEW: @VP Harris will visit El Paso, Texas on June 25. pic.twitter.com/uruHBUE5la — Emmy Ruiz (@emmyruiz46) June 23, 2021
, a conservative outlet, has kept track of how many days she has gone without crossing the border.
Harris has pushed back against this narrative
, stating that her priority is to address the lack of stability in the countries from which migrants are fleeing, as she did during a visit to Guatemala
earlier this month.
“I want to emphasize that the goal of our work
is to help Guatemalans find hope at home,” Harris said after meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei. “At the same time, I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the US-Mexico border: Do not come, do not come.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
(D-NY) said it was “disappointing to see,” noting that the US has played a role in destabilizing the countries in question and exacerbating corruption
, including in Guatemala, El Salvador
, and Honduras
Criticism of Harris comes as the Biden administration
deals with a surge in the number of migrants arriving at the border seeking asylum; according to Customs and Border Protection, more than 180,000 migrants arrived in May, with more than 112,000 being immediately deported.
Though Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives
have argued that seeking asylum is legal, the Biden administration has relied on a Trump-era order that allows the US to quickly turn away migrants in the name of public health
since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
Former President Donald Trump
is also set to visit the border soon, having accepted an invitation from Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
to accompany him on June 30.