Kamala Harris Was AWOL For Biden’s First Border Trip

(Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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Vice President Kamala Harris did not accompany President Joe Biden on his first border trip and has apparently not led any migration-related activity for seven months, despite being tapped as the administration’s border czar.

Biden travelled to El Paso, Texas, and had a highly controlled look at the border and a migrant center on Sunday. He spoke with local officials and federal law enforcement officials, but did not travel to see the masses of migrants sleeping on the streets in the downtown of the city. (RELATED: ‘An Injustice’: El Paso Locals ‘Disappointed’ Biden Didn’t See Consequences Of The Border Crisis During Trip)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas flew with Biden on Air Force One to El Paso, and the president was met on the tarmac by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Democratic Texas Reps. Henry Cuellar, Veronica Escobar and Vicente González, as well as local officials. Harris was nowhere to be seen, and the White House did not announce she would be holding any public events during Biden’s border visit.

Harris’ press office did not respond to the Daily Caller on why Harris was not invited on the border trip.

Besides the border, Harris has apparently been missing from leading all public migration-related events for over seven months.

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 14: A milk carton with a picture of Vice President Kamala Harris sits on the floor during a press conference following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House Republican members spoke about their recent trip to the southern border and the surge of migrant children entering the United States. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The president appointed Harris to look into the “root causes” of migration in March of 2021. Harris announced in July of 2021 she would be speaking with the leaders of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and working with private sector leaders to allocate funds to Central American countries, according to a White House statement.

The only time Harris visited the border was in June 2021, when she went to El Paso del Norte Port of Entry. She was criticized for not going to Fort Bliss, the largest processing center in the country for unaccompanied children, and for not going to the epicenter of the crisis in the Rio Grande Valley, The Texas Tribune reported.

Secretary Of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas (2nd-R) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)(R) listen as US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a press conference at El Paso International Airport, on June 25, 2021 in El Paso, Texas. – Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday, visited a Customs and Border Protection processing facility, and met with advocates and NGOs. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Under Harris’ migration leadership, the Biden administration experienced the most recorded migrant encounters in U.S. history, with 2.3 million in the 2022 fiscal year. Some illegal immigrants crossed the border because of the administration’s relaxed policies, migrants told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The last time Harris led any event related to migration was on June 7, 2022, when she announced “more than $1.9 billion in new private sector commitments to create economic opportunity in northern Central America,” according to a Daily Caller analysis of White House public statements. Harris did attend Biden’s Thursday speech on the border, but stood on the sidelines and did not deliver any remarks on the issue other than jumping in to fill in for Biden’s gaffes.

In December 2022, White House press secretary Karine-Jean Pierre didn’t answer when a reporter asked what Harris has been doing recently to address “root causes.”

“I’m wondering if there’s any update from this side of the White House on what she’s been doing and what she will continue to do as we’re expecting an influx at the border,” a reporter asked.

“I don’t have anything to lay out specifically on what that work looks like,” Jean-Pierre responded, referring the press to the vice president’s office for more information.

Harris’ press office did not respond to the Caller about the last time Harris held a migration-related event.