Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday gave a press conference in El Paso, Texas, after touring the southwest U.S. border, where she took shots at the Trump administration, blaming his policy for the current problems at the border.
“It is here in El Paso, that the previous administration’s child separation policy was unveiled,” Harris said in her remarks at El Pas airport. “And so we’ve seen the disastrous effects of that, right here in this region.”
“It is here in El Paso, that the return to Mexico policy from the previous administration was implemented, we have seen the disaster that resulted from here in El Paso,” Harris added.
In El Paso, Harris visited a migrant processing center, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, and talked with immigrants, including unaccompanied minors, and members of charity groups, according to CNN.
She said her effort is a two-pronged approach – identifying the root cause of the immigration surge at the border and looking at the effect.
“My trip to Guatemala and Mexico was about addressing the root causes,” Harris said in her remarks. “So the work that we have to do is the work of addressing the cause, the root causes. Otherwise, we will continue to see the effect of what is happening at the border.”
This is Harris’ first trip to the border after being appointed by Biden in March to address the surge of illegal immigrants, particularly unaccompanied minors.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also spoke with Harris, saying he was thankful to the Vice President for tackling the root causes of the migration surge and that they will work to strengthen the border.
The vice president in recent weeks made a trip to Guatemala and Mexico, but she has faced criticism, even from within her own party, about having yet to tour the border.
“I said back in March I was going to come to the border,” Harris said earlier after arriving in El Paso. “This is not a new plan.”
The number of immigrants at the southern border typically surges in the spring, but this year has been especially high, in part because of administration policy toward unaccompanied minors.
In May, CBP encountered more than 180,000 illegal migrants at the southern border with Mexico.
“At some point, you know, we are going to the border,” Harris said in an interview with NBC News two weeks ago while in Guatemala investigating the root causes of the immigrant surge.
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