President Joe Biden appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to oversee the administration’s response to the crisis at the border 15 days ago, but she has not yet made a visit.
Harris was appointed March 24, and as of April 7 had not announced any plans to visit the southern border. When a reporter mentioned that Harris hadn’t visited the border and asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki if Harris was still working on addressing the crisis, Psaki said that the vice president had stopped for a snack “like many Americans.”
“As we discussed here today, Vice President Harris has been put in charge of addressing the root causes of the border crisis,” New York Post reporter Steven Nelson told Psaki during a Wednesday press conference. “Last Tuesday she spoke with Guatemala’s president, but she hasn’t visited the border or Central America or spoken to the leaders of El Salvador or Honduras.” (RELATED: Speaker Pelosi Says ‘We’re On A Good Path At The Border’ Under President Biden)
REPORTER: “VP Harris is in charge of addressing the root causes of the border crisis….She hasn’t visited the border…She took time to visit a bakery in Chicago. I’m wondering if she’s still working on this.”
PSAKI: “Like many Americans, she got a snack.” pic.twitter.com/xp9uaYi6a9
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 7, 2021
Nelson pointed out that Harris took time to visit a Chicago bakery when she was traveling this week. He asked Psaki if she could address perceptions that the vice president is “quietly backing off” of dealing with the border crisis while U.S. Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is pursuing policies from the Trump era like building new barriers at the border and prosecuting illegal immigrants who cross the border multiple times.
“There’s a whole lot packed in there,” Psaki responded. “So let me just see what I can do here.” (RELATED: Nikki Haley Rips Kamala Harris’ Handling Of Border Crisis: ‘God Help Us If She Ever Becomes President’)
“First, I would say the vice president was visiting Chicago, actually, to talk about COVID and the importance of communities getting the vaccine when it’s available and accessible to them,” the press secretary said. “And so, while she was there, like many Americans, she got a snack. I think she’s allowed to do that.”
An influx of migrants has overwhelmed the southern border, leading to overflowing facilities and forcing the government to move migrants to hotel rooms or fly them across the country. In March, data revealed that more than 171,000 migrants were apprehended at the border, the highest monthly total in 20 years.