EL PASO, Texas – More details were released Thursday about Vice President Kamala Harris’s trip to El Paso this Friday, June 25.
According to Symone Sanders, spokeswoman for the vice president, she will be accompanied on her trip by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Verónica Escobar.
The visit plan consists of the following activities and tours:
- Harris will tour the El Paso Central Processing Center (a Border Patrol facility). The tour will be on foot through the facilities and you will receive an operational briefing.
- Then you will have a conversation with religious non-governmental organizations, shelter providers, and legal services.
- In the end, Harris, along with Mayorkas, Durbin and Escobar, will comment with the press and answer questions.
Sanders said the vice president’s trip to Guatemala and Mexico was about the root causes of migration, while this visit to the border is about the effects.
He added that both trips will inform the Administration’s root cause strategy and that El Paso is a “critical” part of understanding the “human experience of migration.”
When asked by a journalist about lhe criticism Harris has received for going to El Paso rather than an area where border arrests are highest, Sanders said El Paso is “representative” of what is happening along the border.
He also said that It is the “birthplace” of the previous Administration’s family separation policy, which was piloted there in 2017. DI note that El Paso has an “important story to tell,” but that “significant progress” has also been made.
Asked whether the timing of the trip is yielding to political pressure, Sanders said the Administration does not take cues from Republicans or the former president.
Sanders said the vice president has repeatedly said she would go to the border and that right now that is “what makes sense” for her agenda.
When asked if the vice president would visit the border detention center that houses migrant children at the Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, where there have been reports of unacceptable conditions, Sanders reiterated the itinerary, which does not include the base.
He said that the Administration is concerned about the reports and that it is serious for the president and vice president. Both Sanders and Moran said facility improvements have been made and HHS is working to address the conditions.
In response to another question, Sanders said the vice president would in fact be speaking with the migrants who are in the CPB facilities that she will visit.