White Home press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday mentioned Vice President Kamala Harris “might” visit the US-Mexico border — after President Biden’s migration czar drew hearth for laughing off a reporter’s query about whether or not she would go.
“I believe that at some level she might go to the border. We’ll see,” Psaki mentioned at her each day press briefing.
Later, Psaki added, “whether it is constructive and it strikes the ball ahead for her to visit the border, she actually might try this.”
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 “In the present day” 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 entire factor concerning the border, we’ve been to the border,” Harris mentioned, to which Holt replied, “You haven’t been to the border.”
Harris countered, “And I haven’t been to Europe. And I imply, I don’t perceive the purpose that you simply’re making. I’m not discounting the significance of the border.”
The reply drew important Republican criticism.
“The Vice President thinks the border disaster is a hilarious joke,” tweeted Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) tweeted, “Properly @VP Harris, I’ve been to the border and it’s nothing to giggle about. Because of Biden/Harris insurance policies, officers are stretched skinny and each border communities and migrants are struggling. This isn’t a joke, it’s a disaster in your watch.”
On Monday, Harris additionally dismissed a reporter’s query at a press convention in Guatemala relating to why she hasn’t visited the southern border, saying that such a visit could be a mere “grand gesture.”
Harris has confronted strain for months to visit the border, although the White Home 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 international locations are house to the vast majority of unaccompanied minors and households surging to the border this 12 months.
Harris’ journey to the area obtained 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 combined messages.
Harris was then greeted at Guatemala’s presidential palace by pro-Donald Trump protesters who brandished indicators that mentioned “Trump gained” and “Go house.”
Critics attribute the border surge to Biden’s insurance policies, together with his choice to finish Trump’s “Stay 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 building of Trump’s US-Mexico border wall and urged Congress to go laws that will set up a path to citizenship for many unlawful immigrants. Republicans mentioned 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 month-to-month excessive of greater than 178,000 in April, the most current month for which statistics can be found.