Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Texas on Friday for a long-awaited border visit, and she snapped at a question about why it had taken her so long to visit after more than 90 days since she was appointed to lead the effort to tackle the causes of the migrant crisis.
Harris, who was appointed by President Biden in March to lead the diplomatic outreach to combat the “root causes” of the surge in migration, is in El Paso to visit a processing center and Border Patrol facility and receive an operational briefing.
It comes after Harris was hammered by both Republicans and Democrats over her failure to visit the border, instead visiting Mexico and Guatemala and unveiling a range of initiatives to end root causes like violence, poverty and climate disruption in Central America.
As she arrived in El Paso, she was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy why right now was the time to make her first trip to the border.
“It’s not my first trip, I’ve been to the border many times,” she snapped back, apparently referring to visits she made to the border as senator.
She claimed the visit builds on the work done in Guatemala and Mexico.
“Because as I’ve long said, I said back in March I was going to come to the border so this is not a new plan, but the reality of it is we have to deal with the causes and we have to deal with the effects,” she said.
“And being in Guatemala, and being in Mexico talking with Mexico as a partner frankly on the issue, was about addressing the causes and coming to the border at the advice and invitation of [Rep. Veronica Escobar] is about looking at the effects of what we have seen happening in Central America,” she said.
Harris is traveling with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin and Escobar.
After the tour, Harris is expected to hold a conversation with advocates from faith-based NGOs and shelter and legal service providers.
Harris, joined by Mayorkas, Durbin and Escobar, at the end of the trip, is set to make remarks to the press and will likely take questions.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.