On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to El Paso, Texas, her first trip to the border since taking office. Harris toured the migrant processing center, a US Customs and Border Protection facility, and spoke with five parentless girls from Central America.
“They are without their parents. They are also full of hope. They were asking me questions. ‘How do you become the first woman vice president?’ But it also reminds me of the fact that this issue cannot be reduced to a political issue. We’re talking about children. We’re talking about families. We’re talking about suffering. And our approach has to be thoughtful and effective,” the Vice President said.
Vice President Harris took the trip to the border as part of the administration’s effort to identify the root causes of the migration problem. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, and Democratic Texas Representative Veronica Escobar accompanied her to El Paso, Texas.
The trip came as criticism of Harris not visiting the border continued to grow ever since she was tasked with leading the administration’s efforts to stem migration at the southern border.
When asked if the trip was in response to that criticism, Harris’ chief spokesperson, Symone Sanders, told reporters on a call Thursday evening that “this administration does not take their cues from Republican criticism, nor from the former President of the United States of America.”
According to CNN, more than 180,000 migrants have passed through the southern border in May.
“Our administration, it is important to be clear, is working to build a fair and a functional, humane immigration system,” Harris said. “We feel very strong about that.”