Psaki Says Harris Hasn’t Gone To Border Because She’s ‘Working On A Diplomatic Level”
Almost a month since being appointed by President Joe Biden as the point person to address the crisis at the US-Mexico border, Vice President Kamala Harris has yet to make a single trip to the southern border.
The Democratic vice president may even never visit “ground zero” of the border crisis, as White House Secretary Jen Psaki said VP Harris is doing her task on a “diplomatic level” — and “not focusing on the border.”
“I would certainly have to ask her team about that specifically, but I would tell you also that her focus is not on the border. It’s on addressing the root causes in the Northern Triangle,” Psaki told a press briefing.
“That’s why the majority of her time has been spent on working on a diplomatic level. She is going to have a bilateral meeting with the president of Guatemala this afternoon. She’s going to speak with the president of Mexico next week, and she’s working with them to ensure there are systems put in place to reduce the amount of migration coming from these countries, but also to address the root causes. And that’s really what the president asked her to do,” she added.
Psaki when asked why VP Harris has not visited the southern border
"But I would tell you also that her focus is not on the border. It's on addressing the root causes in the Northern Triangle, and that's why the majority of her time has been spent working on a diplomatic level" pic.twitter.com/LO7KqD2vOh
— Mona Salama (@MonaSalama_) April 26, 2021
Her comments come as Fox News’ Peter Doocy sought clarification on Harris’ recent comments that she is unable to make any trip to the border due to risks of the coronavirus.
Harris may not travel to the border
During the briefing, the press secretary also implied that the Democratic vice president may not travel to the border at all for security reasons, although VP Harris has recently made trips to Colorado and Illinois — and has earlier planned trips to Guatemala and Mexico.
"These are issues that are not going to be addressed overnight…our focus is to deal with the root causes," Vice Pres. Harris says about migrant surge at the border, adding she plans to travel to Mexico and Guatemala. https://t.co/Wpn0Nh7Apr pic.twitter.com/HgDuvdD8kC
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 14, 2021
“If a president or a vice president goes down and visits a facility like this, you have to potentially clear some parts out. There’s a lot of security that comes. Our focus here is on solutions, on making progress, on moving these kids out of facilities,” Psaki said.
Harris has been the target of backlash recently for not visiting the southern border to assess the situation at ground zero of the crisis in person — she has also dragged making any news conference since being tapped for the border crisis role.
Psaki downplays Harris’ book inclusion
Meanwhile, Psaki also downplayed questions about the controversial inclusion of copies of Harris’ children’s book “Superheroes Are Everywhere” in the packs being distributed to migrants seeking entry to the US.
The vice president’s book was published in 2019 and was reportedly being distributed through the welcome packs intended for unaccompanied migrant children entering the US in droves.
“Of the vice president’s book? I’d have to check with our Health and Human Services team,” the press secretary said.
“I’d have to certainly check on that. I hear it’s a good book,” she added, without giving concrete explanation on the inclusion of the book — which critics said was bought using taxpayer’s funding.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) told Newsweek last week that Harris’ books were “donated.”
“The referenced book was one of an assortment of hundreds of titles donated to the Long Beach Emergency Intake Site as part of a City of Long Beach new books and toys drive. No taxpayer dollars were used to purchase Vice President Harris’ book,” DHS said.
Kamala is now saying “we’re making progress” on Biden’s border crisis
Really? Is a 900% increase in apprehensions from last year and a 233% increase in fentanyl smuggling “progress” to you?
She must be referring to her progress on book sales… pic.twitter.com/csQsGiceJd
— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) April 26, 2021
Vice President Harris earlier blamed the administration of former President Donald Trump and claimed that the situation at the US-Mexico border would not be “solved overnight.”
“The kind of work that has to happen is the diplomatic work that we have been engaged in, including my calls to the president of Mexico, the president of Guatemala,” Harris said on Sunday. “But it’s not going to be solved overnight. It’s a complex issue. Listen, if this were easy, it would have been handled years ago.”
“Part of the problem is that under the previous administration, they pulled out essentially a lot of what had been the continuum of work, and it essentially came to a standstill,” she claimed, despite earlier criticisms — even from the Mexican government — that Biden’s relaxed border policies was to blamed for the unprecedented surge of illegal crossers seeking to enter the country.
— Mona Salama (@MonaSalama_) April 26, 2021
The Washington Post reported that an estimated 5,000 individuals try to breach the US-Mexico border each day. 450-500 of those are unaccompanied minors, and there are currently about 15,500 children are in Border Patrol custody.
According to estimates being circulated among the Biden team, border patrol agents could be apprehending between 500,000 and 800,000 illegals per month.
Share Your Thoughts
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please hover over that comment, click the ∨ icon, and mark it as spam. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.