A spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday insisted that pressure from Republicans was not a factor in her decision to visit the El Paso Central Processing Center on Friday amid a surge in migration.
The White House has insisted that Harris was tapped by President Biden in March to take on the root cause of the problem. The Biden administration has portrayed the border crisis as an issue that was inherited from the previous administration.
Symone Sanders, the spokesperson and senior adviser for Harris, held a call with reporters and was asked if Harris’ visit was somehow her office “bowing to political pressure from Republicans and some Democrats.”
“This administration does not take their cues from Republican criticism, nor from the former President of the United States of America. We have said, over a number of different occasions—and the vice president has said, over the course—over the last three months, that she would go to the border. She has been before. She would go again. She would go when it was appropriate, when it made sense.”
Harris has been accused by critics of avoiding the border to preserve her political future. Her recent trip to Guatemala and Mexico seemed to do her no favors and two awkward interviews have made her absence a national issue, they say.
Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, told Fox News in a recent interview that former President Trump’s decision to visit the border put Harris in an even more challenging spot.
“We have put political pressure on her for months and months and months to show up,” he said. “You know, thankfully former President Donald Trump is coming down, and all of a sudden you put their head in a political vise, and then they start moving. But, you know like I said I’m glad she’s at least showing up, now what? We need actions.”
Sanders told reporters that Harris’ trip to the border will build on the diplomatic work that she accomplished in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
Harris’ trip “will also shed a spotlight on the administration’s work to build a fair, humane and orderly immigration system,” she said.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report