Vice President Kamala Harris is en route to El Paso, Texas Friday morning for her first “border” trip — heading to a site hundreds of miles from the epicenter of the migrant crisis for a visit many critics are calling out as rushed to avoid former President Donald Trump taking a tour before her.
Harris boarded Air Force Two from Joint Base Andrews just before sunrise, just after greeting Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, all of whom are joining her on the brief visit.
The VP declined to speak to the traveling press before boarding, though she offered a wave.
The trip — Harris’ first in the more than three months since President Biden tapped her to handle the record-smashing surge of illegal immigration — comes amid bipartisan criticism of the administration’s handling of the crisis.
The Biden administration’s undoing of former President Donald Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that President Biden is inviting them to cross the border.