More than a week after former President Donald Trump announced he would visit the U.S.-Mexico border amid the migrant surge, Vice President Kamala Harris finally announced Wednesday she will make the trip. It has been 91 days since she was appointed to head up the White House’s border response.
Politico reported the vice president will be joined by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as they travel to El Paso, Texas on Friday.
Harris visited Guatemala and Mexico earlier this month, as the White House attempts to address the supposed “root causes” of the border crisis while deflecting on domestic policy concerns and remedies. There were more than 180,000 border encounters in May, which is a 20-year high. Migrants have come in from more than 160 countries and 40,000 migrants came from places other than Mexico and Central America in May.
The vice president took close to three months to announce her visit while traveling abroad and being lambasted by Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei for not being on the “same side of the coin” as him.
Harris also puzzled both sides when she told NBC’s Lester Holt earlier this month that “We have been to the border” but when pressed that she has actually not been to the border, she noted, “I haven’t been to Europe.” Of course, Harris was not appointed to do anything in particular in Europe.
Before Harris announced her travel plans, Trump said he will accompany Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to the border on June 30. “We went from having border security that was the envy of the world to a lawless border that is now pitied around the world,” Trump said in a statement.
James Carafano, a national security expert at The Heritage Foundation, told The Federalist the vice president’s visit does not compensate for a failed White House border response.
“There’s just no way that this is anything but a nothing burger,” Carafano said. “I don’t think this is a rebranding exercise and I don’t think it’s a shift in policy. I think this is the ultimate definition of the words ‘damage control.'”