US Vice President Kamala Harris promises to visit the southern border of the United States on Friday. Since taking office as vice president, Harris has not yet visited the Mexico border region, which has drawn criticism from Republicans.
Harris will visit El Paso in Texas on Friday, her spokeswoman Symone Sanders reported. US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will accompany Harris.
The announcement of the visit to the southern border comes after former President Donald Trump said he would visit the border area on June 30. Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott will join Trump. “If Abbott and I hadn’t gone next week, she never would have gone either,” Trump said in a statement.
In early June, Harris visited the interior of Mexico and Guatemala during her first international working visit as Vice President. Several Republicans at the time called on the vice president to go to the border to see the situation there with his own eyes.
Harris defended her choice by saying that she wants to tackle the core of the migration problems. “You can’t say you care about the border if you don’t care about root causes,” Harris said. After that working visit, the vice president already announced that he would visit the border area later.
Illegal migration on the southern border of the US has recently reached its highest level in 20 years, and urgent help is needed. According to a report by human rights groups released Tuesday, 3,300 migrants stranded in Mexico since January because of US border policies have been kidnapped, raped, trafficked or attacked.