On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris landed at El Paso, to visit the border as she has been put in charge of border issues and migration by President Joe Biden. Earlier, Harris had been on a diplomatic visit to Mexico and Guatemala to address the root cause of migration. Today, she has reached the southern border of the nation with Mexico to see the effects of migration. She had been criticized by the Republicans for not visiting the border and some Democrats have also wanted her to visit the border at the earliest.
Her itinerary included
- Tour of a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) processing center.
- Meeting a group of unaccompanied children.
- Visiting a port of entry.
- Meeting local advocates.
After deplaning from Air Force 2, the Vice President told reporters that they have to deal with the causes, and they have to deal with the effects of migration. She added that being in Guatemala and Mexico, talking frankly with Mexico, was the way forward to deal with the causes. She said that coming to the border was about looking at the effects of what they have “seen happening in Central America.”
Harris is being accompanied on her tour and visits by
- Alejandro Mayorkas who is the Homeland Security Secretary
- Sen, Dick Durban who is helping with immigration negotiations in Congress
- Veronica Escobar who represents parts of El Paso
Vice President Harris toured the CBP center and spoke to the officials. She praised them for the work that they had accomplished in just two months. She also met a group of five young girls in the age group of 9 to 16 who had crossed over from Central America. They drew pictures for her. She also made an unscheduled trip to the Paso del Norte port of entry. She saw the photos of how overcrowded it was in 2016 and how it has improved in 2019.
Some experts believe that Harris’ visit to the border could make a difference on how immigration issues could be tackled while others believe that engagement with Central American countries is the way forward to solve the decades old issue. The number of immigrants who are trying to cross over has increased after the Biden administration took over reins of the nation. The former president Trump and a few Republicans are planning to visit the border next week.