The Biden administration has struggled to stem the tide of would-be illegal immigrants trying to make their way into the United States via the southern frontier. Critics suggest the crisis was caused by the president’s decision to revoke a series of hardline immigration-related directives introduced by Donald Trump.
Kamala Harris is visiting the US-Mexican border in El Paso, Texas on Friday, touring a migrant processing center after months of attacks by Republicans over her alleged failure to show up. Sputnik has put together some quick facts to know about the trip:
- The visit comes just over three months after President Joe Biden tapped Harris to tackle the growing migration crisis on 24 March.
- A group of Republican lawmakers led by Texas Senator Ted Cruz beat Harris to the border by almost three months, touring the frontier and detention centers, and posting politically damaging videos of adults and minors being held in cramped facilities where sanitary and epidemiological rules were not being followed.
- Former President Donald Trump was invited to visit the border by Texas Governor Gregg Abbott last week, with the trip set to take place 30 June. On Thursday, Trump attacked Harris and claimed that she would have “never gone” to the border if not for his upcoming trip.
- Harris’s schedule includes a walking tour of the El Paso Central Processing Center operated by Customs and Border Patrol. There, she is expected to receive an “operational briefing” from agents. After that, she is set to speak to leaders of NGOs providing shelter and legal assistance to migrants. The end of the trip is expected to include a speech to assembled press and a possible question and answer session.
- Along with Harris, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin and Democratic Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas are coming along on the trip.
- Former acting director of US Customs and Immigration Enforcement Tom Homan suggests that Harris’s trip to visit El Paso instead of the much harder hit Rio Grande Valley migration “epicenter’ is aimed at shielding her from seeing the worst of the crisis. “Instead of going there and talking to the men and women dealing with that crisis and taking care of thousands of unaccompanied children, she picks El Paso because she doesn’t want to see the devastation that her administration’s policies have caused,” Homan told Fox News.