Visiting the southern border in El Paso, Texas, on Friday, June 25, Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters that she had been contemplating the trip since March.
“I said back in March I was going to come to the border so this is not a new plan,” she said as reported by Breitbart. “I’m glad to be here. This was always the plan to come here. And I think we’ll have a good and productive day.”
Ever since being entrusted by President Joe Biden on March 24 to tackle the border challenges, this is the first time the vice president has made a physical tour at the border to witness the situation there.
Accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, and Democratic Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar, Harris’ travel came amid criticisms over her half-hearted attitude about being at the border in person, which many GOP lawmakers argued should have been an immediate move when she took the task Biden gave her.
In early June, Harris went to Guatemala and Mexico but did not take the chance to sneak a peek at the border between the two nations, arguing that she came to speak with the leader and she would like to focus on the purpose solely.
“I came to be here on the ground, to speak with the leader of this nation around what we can do in a way that is significant, is tangible and has real results, Harris said. “And I will continue to be focused on that kind of work as opposed to grand gestures.”
In an interview with NBC News, when asked if she had ever been to the border, Harris responded vaguely, “… and I haven’t been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t—I don’t understand the point that you’re making.”
The announcement of her trip also came suddenly without any heads up from Harris on Thursday, which happened to be not very long after former President Donald Trump declared that he would go to the border himself with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
In a statement sent to reporters as Breibart detailed, former President Trump believed Harris’ first tour to the border was ignited by his plan.
“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,” Trump wrote.
On her tour at the border, Harris again readdressed that she did not want to merge the different purposes of her presence in Guatemala and Mexico.
“Being in Guatemala, being in Mexico, and talking with Mexico as a partner, frankly on the issue, was about addressing the causes. And then coming to the border at the advice and actually the invitation of the congresswoman, is about looking at the effects of what we have seen happening in Central America, and so I’m glad to be here,” she said, according to CNN.
“This was always the plan to come here.”