“Sooner or later, you realize, we’re going to the border,” Harris mentioned. “We have been to the border. So this entire, this entire, this entire factor in regards to the border. We have been to the border. We have been to the border.”
“I, and I have never been to Europe. And I imply, I do not — I do not perceive the purpose that you just’re making,” Harris mentioned with amusing. She added: “I am not discounting the significance of the border.”
Harris has been tasked by the President to guide efforts to stem the circulate of migration from Central America, and has sought to make clear that managing the southern border isn’t a part of that task. Her feedback come as Republican critics have tried to make Harris the face of the Biden administration’s response on the border, the place a document variety of unaccompanied kids crossed into the US this spring.
“I care about this and I care about what’s taking place on the border. I am in Guatemala as a result of my focus is coping with the basis causes of migration,” Harris mentioned. “There could also be some who assume that that isn’t essential, however it’s my agency perception that if we care about what’s taking place on the border, we higher care in regards to the root causes and handle them.”
Harris is dealing with the primary main diplomatic take a look at of her vice presidency, and her journey to Guatemala and Mexico underscores the Biden administration’s heightened deal with Central America and migration from the area.
The vp met with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on Monday, and on Tuesday flew to Mexico to satisfy with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Harris mentioned Tuesday she believed the US and Mexico have been “embarking on a brand new period” throughout her assembly with López Obrador and touted the longstanding relationship between their two bordering nations.
The vp is predicted to deal with financial improvement, local weather and meals insecurity and ladies and younger folks throughout her journey to the area, in accordance with her workers. In Guatemala, the vp met Guatemalan group leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs and greeted and thanked US embassy workers. In Mexico, Harris will take part in a dialog with feminine entrepreneurs, maintain a roundtable with labor employees and greet US mission Mexico workers.
Biden tasked Harris with the politically fraught task in March, and one official beforehand advised CNN Harris is “actually choosing up” from the place Biden left off, after he was tasked by then-President Barack Obama to guide diplomatic efforts in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in his final time period, following a surge of unaccompanied minors from these international locations arriving within the US.
The vp and her workers have made it clear that they wish to focus narrowly on diplomatic efforts in Mexico and the Northern Triangle international locations of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the place they consider they’re extra more likely to obtain tangible ends in addressing the basis causes of migration, like financial despair, in accordance with two White Home officers accustomed to the dynamic.
CNN’s Jasmine Wright contributed to this report.