After months of being tasked with handling the crisis created by the Biden administration on the southern border – Kamala Harris is finally planning a trip down to the border according to her office.
Harris is set to travel to the El Paso, Texas, area, accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The vice president hasn’t been to the border since taking office, despite claiming, “we have been to the border,” during an uncomfortable interview.
Following criticism that neither she nor the president have visited the area, she shifted her messaging in early June, saying she’d make the trip “at some point.”
Something, however, may have accelerated her timeline in terms of when she planned to visit the border.
Former President Trump is expected to visit the border with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in just a few days, and Harris seemingly rushed to get there before him.
Trump released a statement commenting on Harris’s trip, boasting that Harris would never have visited the border if he and other Republicans had not planned a similar trip.
“After months of ignoring the crisis at the Southern Border, it is great that we got Kamala Harris to finally go and see the tremendous destruction and death that they’ve created—a direct result of Biden ending my very tough but fair Border policies,” he said. “If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going there next week, she would have never gone!”
“Harris and Biden were given the strongest Border in American history,” he continued. “And now, it is by far the worst in American history.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged to reporters in Washington that the administration was aware of Trump’s pending travel plans.
She said the decision on the timing of the visit was coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security and that both the White House and Harris had offered previously that the vice president could go to the border at an appropriate time.
That time has arrived, Psaki said, because the number of immigrant children in U.S. government custody has declined from levels that saw facilities both on and off the border overcrowded.
Harris will “assess and take a look at the progress that’s been made,” she said. “Is there still more work to do? Absolutely.”
After Biden reversed or altered a number of key Trump-era policies upon entering office, the border situation worsened quickly.
Droves of young migrants without accompanying adults arrived there and were welcomed despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 6,000 children at one point were in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which isn’t equipped to care for minors.
Transfer times to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) care extended to more than seven days for some children, which is far beyond what federal law allows.
As of June 12, 1,040 kids were in CBP care and over 14,400 were in HHS care.
Border Patrol agents have also seen a surge in adults and families. Illegal border crossings hit 180,034 in May, with 51,000 others avoiding capture. Some Democrats who represent border districts have joined Republicans in criticizing the Biden administration’s handling of the situation.
Author: Robert Tarant