Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday, the White House confirmed, amid mounting criticism from Republicans for not yet doing so, following her appointment by President Biden to handle the “root causes” of migration.
Harris is set to visit El Paso, Texas, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Harris has come under heavy criticism from Republicans and some Democrats for the way she has handled the role since being appointed to it 91 days ago. While the White House has emphasized she is tasked with the “root causes” of the border crisis, Republicans have criticized her repeatedly for not having visited the border at all – with former Trump officials saying she needs to go to the border in order to be able to conduct the talks effectively.
Harris, earlier this month, visited Guatemala, for her first visit abroad since being appointed by President Biden to lead diplomatic efforts to the region to help solve the massive spike in migration to the border in recent months.
The White House has defended Harris for not visiting the border, saying that her role was to improve diplomacy and conditions inside Northern Triangle countries where countries are fleeing.
The White House said Harris was working “with leaders in the Northern Triangle” and work on ways to “address corruption” and the root causes of migration, as well as ways to address humanitarian challenges in the countries.