Vice President Kamala Harris will visit the U.S.-Mexico border this week for the first time since he took a leading role in immigration issues, officials said Wednesday, amid continued pressure on the U.S. Biden administration to address the growing number of migrants coming from Central America.
In a statement, Harris spokeswoman Symone Sanders said the vice president will travel Friday to El Paso, Texas, and will be accompanied by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
“Earlier this year, the president asked the vice president to monitor our diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras,” Sanders said.
While on that trip, Harris was assaulted by Republicans who criticized her and President Joe Biden for not having already visited the U.S.-Mexico border.
Former President Donald Trump, who has made the immigration crackdown a focus of his presidency and has repeatedly criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the immigration issue, last week announced his plans in order visit the U.S.-Mexico border on June 30 with the governor of Texas Greg Abbott.
“After months of ignorance of the crisis on the Southern Border, it’s nice that we’ve got Kamala Harris to finally go see the tremendous destruction and death they’ve created – a direct result of Biden putting an end to my policies Frontier is very tough but fair, ”Trump said in a statement Wednesday.
“If Governor Abbott and I didn’t go there next week, we would never have gone!” Trump continued.
Harris is main efforts in the Biden administration for tackling the wave of Central American migrants – many of them fleeing misery and gang violence – who have been trekking to the US-Mexico border.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, more than 180,000 migrants were arrested at the border during May, a maximum of 20 years.
The rise in numbers came after Biden – who took office in January – overturned several key anti-immigration policies put in place by his predecessor, Trump.
He signed a policy called “They remain in Mexico“He asked asylum seekers to wait for U.S. court dates in Mexico, stopped the construction of a border wall with Mexico and relaxed eligibility rules to have asylum.
At the same time Biden left in place a so-called border policy Title 42, expulsion in five months more than 400,000 migrants detained at or near the border, including several Central American families and asylum seekers returned to Mexico.
Almost 3,300 migrants blocked in Mexico since January have been abducted, raped, trafficked or assaulted, according to a report by Human Rights First, a U.S. rights group.
Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, has slammed the Biden administration for reversing Trump’s border policies.
“Kamala Harris needs to look into the eyes of children who are suffering because of Joe Biden’s failed immigration policies,” Cruz said Wednesday on Fox News.
“That’s when they need to finish the capture and release, and they need to re-establish the international agreement‘ Stay in Mexico ’that had resolved this issue until Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ruined it,” he said.
Biden administrators say they want to reform the nation’s immigration system and implement more “humane” border policies. Biden also instructed Harris to oversee programs that address what are called the “root causes” of migration: lack of economic opportunities, crime and corruption.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Harris’ trip is coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services to “continue to address root causes and work together.” in coordination to bring the situation under control ””.