Vice President Kamala Harris should be furious. Whoever decided to send her on an ill-conceived trip to the border should be fired. Republicans, on the other hand, should be doing high fives, and they are. They’ve been searching for an issue to knock the White House off stride, and Kamala Harris provided plenty of ammunition on a quick trip to El Paso on Friday.
Republicans have been taunting Harris to make a border trip for weeks, as if any politician showing up at the scene of an ongoing event make a dimes worth of difference. It doesn’t.
So, like walking into a pre-arranged trap that everyone could see, Harris and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas drop by the Rio Grande city where they met with border patrol agents and got updates on their operations and toured the El Paso Central Processing Center, according to The Hill. This was her first trip to the U.S.-Mexico border as vice president and her first since President Biden put her in charge of the White House’s efforts to stop the flow of migrants to the border from Northern Triangle nations.
What happens at the border is directly connected to the work we are doing to address the root causes of migration from Central America. As I made clear during my trip to El Paso today, the President and I are committed to strengthening our immigration system at every level. pic.twitter.com/gYm5ZjzBAI
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) June 25, 2021
Republicans who have been complaining for weeks that Harris had yet to visit the border immediately switched gears and complained that by going to El Paso, she didn’t get close enough to where the real problems along the southern border, such as the Rio Grande Valley.
Fox News has now shifted from why isn’t Kamala Harris visiting the border to why is Kamala Harris visiting the border pic.twitter.com/coh0nUcRSL
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 23, 2021
Some see Harris’ choice of El Paso for her visit as an intentional slight to Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar, whose district covers the Rio Grande, because of his recent criticism of Harris.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who made a highly-publicized publicity stunt to the Rio Grande section of the border in March, spent much of Friday slamming VP Harris on twitter for her trip, calling it a “publicity stunt.”
It’s been 93 days since Joe Biden named Kamala Harris border czar.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 25, 2021
'Kamala Harris to Finally Visit Border Months after Being Tapped to Handle Migrant Crisis'
After 91 days of being Border Czar, VP Harris is not even going where the crisis is taking place!
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 23, 2021
Vice President Kamala Harris isn't even going to the border.
She's flying into El Paso and going to a Border Patrol facility that's miles from the physical border before flying to Los Angeles for the evening. pic.twitter.com/2VWd0aQSoC
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) June 25, 2021
If Democrats are concerned the GOP is making progress at turning immigration into a focal in 2022, perhaps they shouldn’t help the opposition by teeing up the Vice President to fail.