Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to visit the U.S. Mexico border on Friday, weeks after she was pressed by conservatives and some members of her own party over the issue. Harris will stop in El Paso, Texas, according to POLITICO, a significant intersection area for migrants traveling to the United States.
The criticism rang loud as Harris made her first international trip visiting Guatemala and Mexico since taking office. Republicans and some of their supporters took issue with Harris skipping a border visit during the trip as Harris steps into the role assigned by President Joe Biden, to oversee the influx of migrants flocking to the border, often fleeing violence and persecution.
After her trip, Harris explained her position on migration at the southern border after a tense exchange with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt.
“Listen, I care about what’s happening on the border,” Harris stated. “I’m in Guatemala because my focus is dealing with the root causes of migration. There may be some who think that that is not important, but it is my firm belief that if we care about what’s happening at the border, we better care about the root causes and address that.”
However, a large part of the critique comes from Donald Trump and his supporters. Trump is expected to visit the area next week with a group of Republican lawmakers, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“Harris and Biden were given the strongest Border in American history,” Trump said in a Wednesday statement obtained by NBC News. “And now, it is by far the worst in American history. If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going there next week, she would have never gone!”
The White House hit back at Trump via a message from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
“She has also said that when it was the right time, she would go to the border,” Psaki said.
Harris’ upcoming trip will undoubtedly be watched from all sides as some progressives took issue with Harris’ warning to migrants during her infamous “Do not come” speech in Guatemala.