Vice President Kamala Harris claimed that “we’ve been to the border” even though she has not visited the nation’s southern border since President Joe Biden put her in charge of the immigration crisis in March.
“Do you have any plans to visit the border?” NBC News’ Lester Holt asked the California Democrat during an interview that aired Tuesday morning on the “Today” show.
“At some point, you know — we are going to the border. We’ve been to the border,” Harris responded. “So this whole, this whole, this whole thing about the border. We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border.”
“You haven’t been to the border,” Holt said.
“And I haven’t been to Europe,” Harris laughed in response.
“And I mean, I don’t understand the point that you’re making,” she said. “I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”
Republicans have repeatedly criticized Harris for her failure to visit the border even though she is the Biden administration’s point person on immigration-related issues that have led to the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In announcing her new border responsibilities on March 24, the president said Harris was “the most qualified person to do it.”
“I gave you a tough job, and you’re smiling, but there’s no one better capable of trying to organize this for us,” Biden said.
That was 76 days ago as of Tuesday.
“The Vice President thinks the border crisis is a hilarious joke,” Republican leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted along with the video of her “Today” interview.
The Vice President thinks the border crisis is a hilarious joke. pic.twitter.com/e3SA3JdfKa
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) June 8, 2021
Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas invited Biden and Harris to visit his state and “listen to the people that live on the border” in an interview with Fox News last week.
Harris defended her decision not to visit the border in her interview with Holt.
“I’m in Guatemala because my focus is dealing with the root causes of migration,” she said.
“There may be some who think that that is not important, but it is my firm belief that if we care about what’s happening at the border, we better care about the root causes and address them. And so that’s what I’m doing.”
The trip is intended to strengthen diplomatic ties with Latin America and identify “the reason people are arriving at our border.”
“The real work is going to take time to manifest itself,” Harris said of the policies the Biden administration is pursuing. “Will it be worth it? Yes. Will it take time? Yes.”
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