Vice President Kamala Harris is addressing what the administration is doing to deal with migrants at the border. This comes as she made her first international trip to Guatemala and Mexico. In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Lester Holt (watch above), Harris said:
“There’s not going to be a quick fix. We are not going to see an immediate return, but we are going to see progress. The real work is going to take time to manifest itself. Will it be worth it? Yes. Will it take some time? Yes.”
One part of the interview that a lot of people are focusing on came as Holt asked “Why not visit the border? Why not see what Americans are seeing in this crisis?’” Holt is facing some criticism for the question because it’s a Republican talking point. Here’s part of the exchange:
Holt: “Do you have any plans to visit the border?”
Harris: “At some point, you know, we are going to the border. We’ve been to the border. So this whole thing about the border. We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border.”
Holt: “You haven’t been to the border.”
Harris: “And I haven’t been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”
Instead, Harris pointed out, “I’m in Guatemala because my focus is dealing with the root causes of migration.”
How should the VP have handled the question? She should not have shown her exasperation. She should have said to Holt “I know Republicans want you to ask me that question but the way to address the situation is not by photo ops but by doing the work here at the source.”
— Armando (@ArmandoNDK) June 8, 2021
Today Harris also met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. She wrote:
The U.S. and Mexico signed a critical Memo of Understanding. It outlines how our nations will work together to address the root causes of migration and help people find hope at home.
— Erin Schaff (@erinschaff) June 8, 2021
Harris did not say if she used the meeting to push Mexico to further intensify efforts to detain migrants, many of whom travel through Mexico to the U.S. border in order to escape poverty, crime and corruption in Central America.
“In terms of border security, the work that we are doing together includes the work of processing migration within the country of Mexico and its southern border,” Harris said after the meeting.
The publication reports that she mentioned she would visit the U.S.-Mexico border, though it’s unclear when that will take place.
Today, President @lopezobrador_ and I discussed our shared interests in security, economic opportunity, vaccines, and migration. The United States sees Mexico as a partner on these issues. https://t.co/49p1iyChKu pic.twitter.com/Ux2oXihtcp
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) June 8, 2021