White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday stated Vice President Kamala Harris “may” visit the US-Mexico border — after President Biden’s migration czar drew hearth for laughing off a reporter’s question about whether or not she would go.
“I think that at some point she may go to the border. We’ll see,” Psaki stated at her every day press briefing.
Later, Psaki added, “if it is constructive and it moves the ball forward for her to visit the border, she certainly may do that.”
Harris, who’s in Mexico on her first journey since Biden tapped her in March to stem a surge in migration, informed NBC information anchor Lester Holt in an interview aired on the “Today” present that she didn’t must visit the border — laughingly including that she additionally hasn’t traveled to Europe.
“We’ve been to the border. So this whole thing about the border, we’ve been to the border,” Harris stated, to which Holt replied, “You haven’t been to the border.”
Harris countered, “And I haven’t been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”
The reply drew vital Republican criticism.
“The Vice President thinks the border crisis is a hilarious joke,” tweeted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) tweeted, “Well @VP Harris, I have been to the border and it’s nothing to laugh about. Thanks to Biden/Harris policies, officials are stretched thin and both border communities and migrants are suffering. This is not a joke, it’s a crisis on your watch.”
On Monday, Harris additionally dismissed a reporter’s query at a press convention in Guatemala concerning why she hasn’t visited the southern border, saying that such a visit would be a mere “grand gesture.”
Harris has confronted stress for months to visit the border, although the White House has taken pains to emphasise that her cost is restricted to addressing the “root causes” of migration from the three-country Northern Triangle of Central America, which incorporates El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The three nations are residence to the vast majority of unaccompanied minors and households surging to the border this 12 months.
Harris’ journey to the area bought off to a troublesome begin when Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei blamed the Biden administration for the migrant disaster in a Sunday interview, saying US officers despatched blended messages.
Harris was then greeted at Guatemala’s presidential palace by pro-Donald Trump protesters who brandished indicators that stated “Trump won” and “Go home.”
Critics attribute the border surge to Biden’s insurance policies, together with his resolution to finish Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” coverage that required most asylum-seekers from Central America to stay in Mexico whereas US courts reviewed their claims of persecution.
Biden additionally ended development of Trump’s US-Mexico border wall and urged Congress to cross laws that may set up a path to citizenship for many unlawful immigrants. Republicans stated the laws and Biden’s coverage modifications created new “pull” elements for unlawful immigration.
The variety of US-Mexico border detentions soared to a 21-year monthly high of greater than 178,000 in April, the most current month for which statistics can be found.