Politics

Harris’ first foreign trip reignites debate over a U.S.-Mexico border visit

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Harris later added that “sooner or later, you recognize, we’re going to the border. We’ve been to the border. So this complete factor in regards to the border — we’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border.” However after Holt famous that Harris herself had but to visit the border since assuming workplace, the vice chairman pushed again.

“And I haven’t been to Europe,” Harris stated. “And, I imply — I don’t perceive the purpose that you simply’re making. I’m not discounting the significance of the border.”

Congressional Republicans had been fast to pounce on the vice chairman’s remarks, casting them as the newest instance of Harris’ lack of health to handle Biden’s migration portfolio.

However at her press briefing on Tuesday, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki once more emphasised that direct administration of the U.S. southern border was not a part of the vice chairman’s mandate, which remained centered on foreign coverage in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

“I count on at a while she might go to the border,” Psaki stated of Harris. “However … what her focus has been — what the project is particularly — is to work with leaders within the Northern Triangle. She’s on a trip doing precisely that, precisely what the president requested her to do.”

Psaki additionally pushed again in opposition to intra-party criticism from progressive Democrats, who argued the vice chairman had delivered too harsh a message to the 1000’s of individuals fleeing the area in pursuit of American asylum.

In Mexico Metropolis Tuesday afternoon, Harris was once more pressed on why she hasn’t visited the U.S.-Mexico border. Harris instructed reporters that individuals cannot say they care in regards to the border with out “caring in regards to the root causes.”

“Hear, I have been to the border earlier than. I’ll go once more,” she instructed reporters. “However once I’m in Guatemala coping with root causes, I believe we should always have a dialog about what is going on on in Guatemala.”

Harris’ newest feedback come amid a two-day visit to Guatemala and Mexico, her first worldwide trip as vice chairman, the place she is talking with the international locations’ leaders in an effort to deal with the basis causes of migration and urging folks in Central American nations in opposition to journeying to the U.S.

“I wish to be clear to of us within the area who’re interested by making that harmful trek to the United States-Mexico border: Don’t come. Don’t come,” Harris stated at a information convention in Guatemala Metropolis on Monday with President Alejandro Giammattei. “I imagine should you come to our border, you’ll be turned again.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted later Monday that Harris’ feedback had been “disappointing to see” and that the act of “in search of asylum at any US border is a 100% authorized methodology of arrival.”

The U.S. “spent many years contributing to regime change and destabilization in Latin America,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “We are able to’t assist set somebody’s home on fireplace after which blame them for fleeing.”

Requested in regards to the congresswoman’s critique on Tuesday, Psaki stated the vice chairman “was merely conveying … that there’s extra work to be finished” and “that we don’t have these programs in place but” to sufficiently overview such giant numbers of asylum claims.

“It’s nonetheless a harmful journey, as we’ve stated many occasions from right here and from many boards earlier than,” Psaki stated. “And we’d like extra time to get the work finished to make sure the asylum-processing is the place it needs to be.”

Harris traveled to Mexico Metropolis on Tuesday for the second leg of her trip, the place she met with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and took part in roundtable discussions with girls entrepreneurs and labor leaders.

Myah Ward contributed to this report.

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