On Wednesday, the news broke that Vice President Kamala Harris would be headed to the southern border — her first trip there, which was unusual given she was tasked several months prior by President Joe Biden with stemming illegal immigration via diplomatic means.
When would she be going? Friday, June 25 — only two days after the visit was publicized.
Were there any other big-name politicians going down to the border in the next few days? Actually, it just so happened there were: Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the border with Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott … June 30. And had announced his visit over a week earlier.
The Biden administration would like Americans to believe that timing was a coincidence.
Trump didn’t quite see it that way, however. On Saturday, in his first campaign-style rally since leaving office in January, he called Harris out for her visit, saying she’d only gone to beat him down there.
“Kamala Harris, your vice president, only went to the border yesterday for the one simple reason, because I announced that I was going next week,” Trump told the crowd at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio, where the Harris name drew enthusiastic boos.
Trump noted he was going “at the request of Texas Gov. Abbott and the Border Patrol.”
“Oh, if I didn’t do that, I don’t know if she was ever gonna go,” Trump continued. “Was she ever going to go? I don’t know,” he said, going on to slam “the radical Democrats” and their “open border.”
Donald Trump: “Kamala Harris, your Vice President, only went to the border yesterday for the one simple reason, because I announced that I was going. […] If I didn’t do that I don’t know if she was ever gonna go.” pic.twitter.com/2XfZTb3CpN
— The Hill (@thehill) June 27, 2021
Trump had previously mocked Harris for the timing of her visit.
“After months of ignoring the crisis at the Southern Border, it is great that we got Kamala Harris to finally go and see the tremendous destruction and death that they’ve created — a direct result of Biden ending my very tough but fair Border policies,” Trump said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Harris and Biden were given the strongest Border in American history. And now, it is by far the worst in American history.
“If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going there next week, she would have never gone!”
TRUMP: “After months of ignoring the crisis at the Southern Border, it is great that we got Kamala Harris to finally go and see the tremendous destruction and death that they’ve created.” pic.twitter.com/6xrpbAj40T
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 23, 2021
As for that “open border” part, some Democrats weren’t even hiding it during Harris’ visit on Friday. Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas welcomed the vice president to the border by saying it was “the new Ellis Island.”
“The New Ellis Island.” Democrats aren’t even hiding it anymore. They’re inviting people to come illegally and continuing the Biden administration trend of America Last. pic.twitter.com/Nbl9TXKzRk
— For America (@ForAmerica) June 25, 2021
Ellis Island was the famed New York site where millions of European immigrants entered the country legally in the early decades of the last century.
Escobar’s “New Ellis Island” is a dangerous expanse where the Border Patrol encountered 180,000 migrants trying to enter the country illegally in May — a new two-decade high — and human smugglers are throwing 3- and 5-year-olds over the border wall miles from any habitation.
Give us your tired, your poor, your fentanyl traffickers, your young children dropped from bollard fences. I understand Ellis Island wasn’t a blast, but surely it was better (and more legal) than this.
This “new Ellis Island” messaging apparently didn’t get through to Harris’ people, who emphasized that she’d delayed the trip because she was dealing with the much-ballyhooed diplomatic “root causes” of illegal immigration — with a disastrous trip to Guatemala and Mexico first.
“This has been a trip that also is connected with the obvious point: If you want to deal with a problem, you can’t just deal with the symptom of the problem, you’ve got to figure out what caused it to happen,” Harris said, according to The Hill.
Not quite as jovial as Rep. Escobar’s talk, you have to admit.
Harris’ people, for what it’s worth, have said there was no connection between the vice president’s itinerary and Trump’s trip to the border.
“This administration does not take their cues from Republican criticism, nor from the former president of the United States of America,” Harris spokeswoman Symone Sanders told reporters.
“We have said, over a number of different occasions … that she would go to the border. She has been before. She would go again. She would go when it was appropriate, when it made sense.”
Why, then, didn’t it make sense back before the criticism started? Why did it only make sense five days before Trump visited — and when the Harris camp knew Republicans would be able to use the talking point that even he’d gone before the vice president had?
Instead, Trump got to run a victory lap on Kamaladespite the fact she beat him down there. All she had to do to avoid this is do the job Biden had tasked her with. Instead, she’s shown same callow disregard that the Biden administration has shown for the rest of the border crisis.
If Harris wanted “to figure out what caused it to happen,” she could have started there.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.