After months of stubborn delay, Vice President Kamala Harris finally agreed this week to visit the nation’s border with Mexico, but Republican lawmakers and others have pointed out that the location of her actual destination means that she is still effectively running away from where the true problem lies, as the Washington Examiner reports.
On Friday morning, Harris – the Biden administration’s point person for the ongoing migrant crisis – traveled to El Paso, Texas to personally visit a Customs and Border Protection processing center, but as critics were quick to highlight, the location is actually hundreds of miles away from the true center of the record-breaking influx that continues to overwhelm local communities as well as state and federal law enforcement agencies.
As former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf explained during a radio interview on Wednesday, “She’s going to the wrong part of the border,” alluding to the fact that El Paso is roughly 1,000 miles from the Rio Grande Valley sector, an area where the bulk of illegal border crossings have been occurring.
Speaking to the vice president’s arguably misguided travel plans from the floor of the Senate that same day, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn displayed a geographical representation of his home state and sarcastically declared, “Someone needs a map.”
Since her appointment to the border role by President Joe Biden back in March, Harris has persisted in an unusual degree of reluctance to get a first-hand look at the crisis conditions that have been decried by legislators on both sides of the aisle, but some observers believe that it was not a sense of duty, but rather a challenge posed by a political foe that finally forced the vice president to get on a plane.
As Politico reported, former President Donald Trump, joined by a group of congressional Republicans, announced plans of his own to visit the southern border on June 30 to survey the disastrous conditions that stemming from Biden’s reversal of many of his predecessor’s immigration policies.
The seemingly curious timing of Harris’ sudden about-face on travel to the border was quickly seized upon by lawmakers including Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), who said, “It took months of pressure from those of us in Congress, Texans along the border, and a visit from President Trump himself to finally convince ‘Border Czar’ Vice President Harris to visit the border first-hand.”
Republican Rep. Pete Sessions, also of Texas, put things even more plainly, telling Fox News, “Let’s just say, there are no coincidences in Washington.”
Asked on Friday to comment on Harris’ decision to travel to El Paso, Trump himself pointedly opined, according to the New York Post, “I think she should go to the border. I think she should go to the real part of the border, not a part of the border that is seldom violated.”