Vice President Kamala Harris will visit El Paso, Texas this week to discuss the border crisis. Much mainstream coverage said it was in response to “relentless Republican criticism.”
The White House announced Vice President Kamala Harris will be going to El Paso, Texas this Friday to visit the border “as part of this ongoing work” of addressing “the root causes of migration.”
- Harris, who will be joined by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the trip, is finally going to the U.S.-Mexico after months of criticism from Republicans and some Democrats in Congress.
- The White House says the long delay in her visit was because of her commitments to “vaccination awareness programs, infrastructure negotiations with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and events tied to boosting voting rights.”
- The Vice President’s visit comes on the heels of the resignation of the U.S. Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott, whose resignation was expected after Biden won the presidential election.
- Florida Sen. Rick Scott temporarily blocked one of Biden’s nominees, Jen Easterly, who was nominated to lead the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, until Harris conducts her visit to the border.
- The Daily Beast went after Republicans who are criticizing VP Harris’ location for her border visit, El Paso, which is not where the worst of the border crisis is occurring.
- Huffington Post’s coverage similarly framed the border crisis and the Vice President finally getting involved as having been instigated by “relentless criticism from Republicans.”
- While many outlets on the left cast the story as GOP criticism, The New York Times did note the Vice President’s disastrous interview with NBC’s Lester Holt in which she laughed about not going to the border and responded to the question of why with “I haven’t been to Europe either.”
- OANN highlighted Texas Sen. John Cornyn blasting the Vice President for “not even going to the right place”, saying El Paso is 1,000 miles from the worst parts of the border crisis.
- Fox News noted the efforts the White House went to in making the distinction in Harris’ role as a “border czar” and the diplomatic efforts to address “root causes” of migration with Central American nations the spike in immigrants have come from.
- RedState featured journalist Julio Rosas’ assessment and critique of Harris’ El Paso trip, noting that the illegal border crossing situation there is not as bad as other portions because the border wall construction is more complete in that sector.
Is the Vice President’s trip too little, too late? Perhaps, and the timing is somewhat suspect as former President Trump has announced he’ll be visiting the U.S.-Mexico border just before Harris’ announcement.
The questions over whether Vice President Harris should have gone to a more “volatile” section of the border are legitimate. Politicians and their staff have to weigh the benefits and risks involved when making decisions such as these. Sometimes, a politician just has to take their lumps in directly addressing uncomfortable situations that dispute their talking points. That rarely happens with the President and Vice President, who are more like actors in a carefully choreographed reality tv show. That applies to all presidents, regardless of party.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021