White House officials were reportedly “perplexed” at Vice President Kamala Harris’ performance in her first foreign policy trip under the new administration, CNN reported Wednesday.
Harris returned from her trip to Guatemala and Mexico on Wednesday. The trip was intended to address the “root causes” of illegal immigration, but the tour ultimately drew criticism from both sides of the aisle in Washington. NBC News also released an interview with Harris in the middle of her trip in which she fumbled an answer on why she has yet to visit the U.S.-Mexico border.
CNN: White House is “perplexed” by Kamala Harris’ inability to answer simple questions pic.twitter.com/TrbNEScnx6
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 9, 2021
Biden appointed Harris to lead the administration’s efforts to combat the ongoing immigration surge at the southern border in March. Harris has since refused to visit the border itself, instead arguing that her role is to address “root causes” of immigration, such as poverty and high crime rates in Central and South America. (RELATED: ‘Not Today!’: Kamala Harris Cracks Up When Asked If She Will Visit The Border)
Harris met with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, both of whom have blamed the Biden administration’s policies for the surge in migration.
Harris has announced various efforts aimed at stemming the flow of migrants, such as training local law enforcement to investigate transnational crimes and offering hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The Biden administration has requested $861 million for aid to Central and South American countries, although such aid has never been proven to decrease border crossings.
Harris ultimately vowed to visit the border “soon” in a Tuesday press briefing.
“Yes, I will,” Harris replied to a question from reporters. “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.”