US VP Harris Lashed Over Migration After First International Trip

US VP Harris Lashed Over Migration After First International Trip

Back Wednesday from her debut international mission as US vice president, Kamala Harris caught flak from Republican critics accusing her of not taking the migration crisis seriously enough, but also from vocal progressives frustrated about border policy.

The two-sided pile-on reflects the protracted and difficult nature of America’s immigration problem, which has vexed US administrations for decades.

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But Harris’ trip to Guatemala and Mexico, during which she appeared to flippantly respond to questions about why she has yet to visit the southern US border for an on-the-ground assessment, marks her biggest stumble yet since she became President Joe Biden’s deputy.

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, described her trip as a “missed opportunity.”

“She is avoiding the point of failure in our immigration system, which is at the border,” Cornyn told AFP Wednesday in the US Capitol.

Less than a decade ago then-president Barack Obama faced a humanitarian crisis at the border, and struggled to apply the most effective response to thousands of people — including unaccompanied minors — fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries.

His successor Donald Trump famously vowed to build a border wall, and earned opprobrium from critics for controversial detentions.

Now Biden has faltered on handling illegal immigration, and critics smell blood in the water — particularly after a series of Harris responses to questions about why she has yet to visit the US-Mexico border since the president tasked her with the immigration portfolio.

In Guatemala she said she would remain focused on addressing the root causes of illegal migration — poverty and crime — rather than the “grand gestures” of a hypothetical border visit.

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In an interview with NBC things grew tense. When Harris said “we’ve been to the border,” the reporter noted that she had yet to visit in person as vice president.

“And I haven’t been to Europe,” she retorted, before breaking into a nervous laugh. The exchange brought fierce criticism from Republicans

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