Whereas in El Paso, she is going to tour a Customs and Border Patrol processing middle, maintain a dialog with advocates from faith-based organizations in addition to shelter and authorized service suppliers, and ship remarks.
The Vice President has confronted months of criticism from members of each events for declining to make the journey up to now and for her muddied explanations as to why.
Republicans have seized on the absence of each Harris and President Joe Biden from the border to color the administration as weak on border safety, in search of to revive a potent political weapon towards Democrats in time for the 2022 midterm elections. With former President Donald Trump visiting the world lower than per week after Harris, Republicans might be watching the Vice President’s go to carefully for fodder for additional assaults.
Whereas numerous administration officers have made a number of visits to the border, the absence of Biden and Harris has left some Democrats anxious that injury already has been achieved.
“The administration is making Democrats look weak,” stated Texas Democratic consultant Henry Cuellar in an interview with The Related Press. “I’ve heard, from Democrats and Republicans in my space, what the heck is occurring with this administration?”
Cuellar’s district spans from south of San Antonio to the US-Mexico border, and final yr he gained reelection by the slimmest margin of his almost two-decade-long profession. Whereas he says he isn’t anxious about his personal reelection battle, he provides, “I fear about my colleagues.”
Cuellar’s feedback mirror a broader concern amongst some Democrats and immigration activists that the Biden administration has ceded the border safety debate to Republicans.
Biden’s first few months in workplace have seen document numbers of migrants making an attempt to cross the border. US customs and border safety recorded greater than 180,000 encounters on the Mexican border in Might, probably the most since March 2000. These numbers have been boosted by a pandemic-related ban on in search of asylum, which inspired repeated makes an attempt to cross the border as a result of getting caught carried no authorized penalties.
Republicans have seized on these figures to assault Biden and Harris as weak on border safety, a message the GOP used with success through the 2020 marketing campaign.
Administration officers, together with Harris, have sought to push again towards that notion, with Harris repeatedly sending the message to migrants throughout her latest go to to Guatemala: “Don’t come.”
However these feedback drew fireplace from some progressives, most notably New York consultant Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who known as the message “disappointing.”
It was an incident that underscored the political no-win state of affairs Harris finds herself in, taking up an intractable downside that is bedeviled previous administrations and been utilized by each events to drive wedges and turnout throughout marketing campaign season. If Biden chooses to not run for a second time period, Harris might be seen because the main contender to interchange him, and the immigration concern might change into both an opportunity for her to showcase her accomplishments or an albatross.
Certainly, Republicans preemptively hammered Harris over her border go to, with Trump claiming credit score for her resolution to go.
Harris advisers have been cautious to emphasise that her essential focus associated to immigration is addressing the basis causes of migration. She has been in search of financial and humanitarian options to enhance situations for residents of Central and North American nations who flee to the US. Her aides framed her journey to the border as a part of an effort to higher perceive remedy the issue.
“What occurs on the border issues, and is instantly related to what’s occurring in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras,” stated Harris spokeswoman Symone Sanders. “It’s instantly related to the work of addressing the basis causes of migration.”
Harris was being joined on the journey by homeland safety secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Illinois Democratic senator Dick Durbin and Democratic consultant Veronica Escobar, who represents the district there.
Harris had no plans to go to the migrant detention facility on the Fort Bliss navy put up, which has drawn criticism from advocates who’ve described unsafe situations and allegations of abuse towards a number of the hundreds of youngsters housed there. Cuellar known as her resolution to go to El Paso “politically secure,” as a result of, he stated, a lot of the exercise on the border occurs farther south.
Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Residents, a Latino civil rights group, expressed issues that Harris’s go to was “a day late and a greenback quick.”
“It virtually looks like they’re being type of compelled into it by the native communities, in addition to the Republicans’ political assaults from the proper,” Garcia stated.
However, nonetheless, Garcia stated he was glad she was going, and expressed optimism that her go to might assist the Biden administration right its course on the immigration concern and present a distinction to the Trump administration’s hardline stance on border safety.
“They need to personal this, and they need to remedy it, as a result of it does want a bipartisan answer,” he stated.