Vice President Kamala Harris’s office has confirmed that she will be heading to the U.S.-Mexico border this week, just days before a contingent of Republicans including former president Donald Trump plan a visit to the border.
Harris, who was tapped by President Joe Biden to lead diplomatic efforts to stem the flow of migrants arriving on the southern border, will make a stop in El Paso, Texas on Friday, sources familiar with the trip told Politico. She is expected to be accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The vice president repeatedly has brushed back at criticism that neither she nor the president have gone to visit the U.S.-Mexico border since taking office. Their position is that her time is better spent addressing the terrible conditions that are causing thousands of migrants from Central America to head to the border seeking refuge, rather than producing a made for TV moment.
Disclosure of the Harris’s trip comes on the same day that a group of House Republicans announced that they will be joining the twice-impeached, one-term former president when he visits the border next week. About a dozen members of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus with the House GOP, are said to be making the trip. It’s unclear what the objective of their trip is, but the fact that House Republicans will join Trump signifies just how tightly they are clinging to what they hope are the former president’s political coattails.
Also joining Trump and House members at the border will be Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, who recently announced that the state would construct its own border wall. It’s not clear that he has the constitutional authority to do so, but he nonetheless has pledged $250 million from next year’s state budget to begin construction of something, somewhere.