LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Los Angeles Friday afternoon, this after making her first visit to the southern border since becoming vice president.
Harris is scheduled to leave El Paso, Texas at 11:30 a.m. Pacific time. She will spend Friday night in L.A. Harris has a home in Brentwood.READ MORE: Daniel Williams, 24, Arrested In Connection To Saturday Fatal Double Shooting In Downtown Long Beach
On Friday morning, Harris was in El Paso for her first trip to the U.S.-Mexico border since becoming vice president. She was joined by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
“It was always the plan to come here, and I think we’re gonna have a good productive day,” Harris said after arriving into El Paso.
Harris met with five young girls, ages 9-16, who had been held at a Customs and Border Protection processing center after crossing the border, the White House said. She also spoke with agents about how they were using technology to streamline intake for migrants.
“You guys have made incredible advances in the last several months,” she told the agents.READ MORE: LA County Continues To See COVID-19 Surge, Doctor Says Not Getting Vaccine Reckless
The vice president has faced mounting criticism from members of both parties for declining to make the trip until now and for her muddied explanations as to why.
Biden’s first few months in office have seen record numbers of migrants attempting to cross the border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded more than 180,000 encounters on the Mexican border in May, the most since March 2000. Those numbers were boosted by a coronavirus pandemic-related ban on seeking asylum, which encouraged repeated attempts to cross because getting caught carried no legal consequences.
Republicans have seized on those figures to attack Biden and Harris as weak on border security, a message the GOP used with success during the 2020 campaign.
Administration officials, including Harris, have sought to refute the charge, with Harris repeatedly sending the message to migrants during her recent visit to Guatemala: “Do not come.”
But those comments drew fire from some progressives, most notably New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who called the message “disappointing.”MORE NEWS: 2 Killed In Wrong-Way Crash On 91 Freeway In Long Beach
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