Things That Matter

What Can We Expect As VP Harris Visits El Paso For Her First Trip To The U.S.-Mexico Border?

Following her first trip abroad to Guatemala and Mexico – which many from both the left and the right called a total disaster – Vice President Harris is in El Paso, TX for her first visit to the U.S-Mexico border since taking office. Many had criticized her for supposedly heading up the administration’s efforts to overhaul the immigration process without having visited the border region.

Now, as the Vice President in at the border, what can we expect from her first visit and how will it affect the administration’s approach to overhauling the immigration system?

Vice President Harris is touring border patrol facilities for the first time as vice president.

The vice president is in El Paso as part of her role addressing the root causes of migration after weeks of pressure from her political opponents about going there in person. In her first trip to the region since taking office, Harris has faced difficulty in navigating the thorny politics of her assignment, taking heat from both Democrats and Republicans for not visiting the border sooner.

In her visit to El Paso, Harris was joined by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has led efforts on bipartisan immigration reform, and Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, who represents the El Paso area.

Harris toured a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, where she met with nonprofit organizations and legal service providers as well as young girls from Central America. She also visited the El Paso del Norte Port of Entry, one of the country’s busiest pedestrian border crossings.

VP Harris spoke to reporters about the causes of immigration but also how its fundamentally part of the U.S. history.

“Most people don’t want to leave home and when they do it’s usually because they are fleeing some kind of harm or they cannot take care of the simple and basic needs of their family by staying where they are,” Harris said shortly after arriving. “And so we are here today to address and to talk about what has brought people to the U.S. border and again to continue to address the root causes which cause people to leave and flee their home country.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Durbin also pointed out how immigration is integral to the success of the U.S.

“Immigration is a critical element in the history and future of the United States. When you look at the challenges of immigration today, one of the greatest challenges is Congress has failed to pass any significant change in immigration laws in 35 years. We have a broken immigration system. Many people complain about it but it’s up to Congress to do something.” Durbin said shortly after arriving in El Paso.

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