Vice President Kamala Harris has encountered another problem in her response to the border crisis.
According to recent reports, she is now facing criticism from members of her own party for refusing to visit the U.S.–Mexico border amid an immigration surge.
“I hope that she will go”
The Los Angeles Times included some of her fellow Democrats in a list of groups — including “nonpartisan policy experts” — that have publicly criticized the vice president for her reaction to the problem since being tasked with a leadership position by President Joe Biden earlier this year.
Even progressive U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) acknowledged that Harris should visit the southern border, though she partially excused the vice president because she has “a few other things to deal with” at the moment.
“I hope that she will go down to the border,” the senator concluded.
As for Rep. Henry Cueller (D-TX), the message is a bit more direct, asserting not only that Harris is making a mistake by not visiting the border, but she appears to be playing it “very safe by not dealing with the border.”
Theresa Cardinal Brown, a former immigration policy adviser for the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, declared that anyone who “talks about the border should see it,” regardless of their political party.
Along with a number of other Democrats who have spoken out in favor of a border visit by the vice president, these examples add more credence to the belief of many in the GOP that Harris has thus far been negligent in her immigration approach.
It is clear that her reluctance to visit the border is not tied to any apparent travel restrictions. In fact, she has been making trips across the nation with no problem in recent weeks.
The Biden administration, for its part, has essentially declared that Harris is not visiting the border because it is not her responsibility to do so. She and other officials have insisted that she has been given the task of addressing “root causes” for the uptick in migration and is leading the administration’s diplomatic efforts in Central America.
Of course, Republican critics say the Biden administration’s policies are “root causes” for the border crisis and Harris might understand why if she visits the border and speaks to the people who live and work there.
Perhaps, they might wonder, that is precisely why she’s been avoiding the border.