Vice President Kamala Harris said she will commit to visiting the U.S.-Mexico border when pressed on the subject during her visit to Mexico Tuesday.
Harris has faced bipartisan backlash after being tapped to lead the administration’s response to the crisis while failing to visit the Southern Border. She previously called demands for her to visit the border “political games,” and the administration said her specific job is dealing with the root causes of migration.
After remarks in Mexico, the vice president was asked once again about visiting the border. Specifically, she was pressed on whether she would commit on the spot to visiting “soon.”
“Yes, I will,” Harris replied. “And I have before. Listen, anybody, especially if you’re from California you know, I’ve spent a lot of time on the border – both going there physically and aware of the issues. But the reality of it is that we need to prioritize what’s happening at the border and we have to prioritize why people are going to the border.”
Harris continued on to push the “root causes of migration” talking point. She noted that President Joe Biden asked her to focus on this. (RELATED: Kamala Harris Tells Guatemalans Not To Come To The US)
“Let’s talk about what’s going on in the places that are causing the issues at the border. I think it’s short-sighted for any of us who are in the business of problem-solving to suggest we’re only gonna respond to the reaction as opposed to addressing the cause,” she said.
“And that’s just a fact … If you want to deal with the effects of a problem then you have to go to the core of what is causing it,” Harris continued.
The commitment comes after Harris made headlines for chuckling through a series of questions about her absence at the border during an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt that aired Tuesday. Harris first repeatedly said “we’ve been to the border” before Holt noted that she, specifically, has not.
“I mean, I don’t understand the point that you’re making,” she said during the interview. “I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”
“I care about what’s happening at the border. I’m in Guatemala because my focus is dealing with the root causes of migration,” Harris 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.”