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Analysis: Harris makes it safe on the US-Mexico border and releases the pressure valve

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“Let’s take a picture!” she said excitedly to the press gathered under the wing of the plane on Friday in the heat of nearly 100 degrees. As for additional questions? Those to which she did not respond, instead of walking away amid the cries of “Mrs. Vice President.”

Harris had already achieved what he came here to achieve: releasing months of pressure on her to visit the southern border avoiding lighting any new controversies. And he wasn’t about to risk unchecking that box a few steps from his trip home.

At each of their three stops in El Paso, Harris and his team seemed intent on diligently observing the movements of an official border visit as they sought to create as little noise as possible.

At a border patrol processing center, the vice president listened intently when the border patrol and U.S. customs and border protection officials informed her of improvements in the processing of migrants. At her second stop, the port of entry to the Paso del Norte, another CBP official made her go through technological improvements in the projections while showing her images on a crowded poster at the facility in 2016. I before Harris left town, he sat down. with nonprofit activists and religious leaders working to help migrants, marking maritime change in the Trump administration’s policy and their work to address the root causes migration from the countries of the northern triangle.

The trip also gave Harris the opportunity to draw a contrast between the policies of the current administration and those of the Trump administration, which boasted of creating “inhumane conditions” at the border. He also noted that the Trump administration’s family separation policy was piloted for the first time in El Paso.

Harris is touring the El Paso border patrol station on Friday.
The visit produced sterile and sober images of a vice president making a traditional visit to the border, avoiding all sorts of stumbles similar to those of his first trip abroad – trips that caused him to visit the border at a crescendo.

Friday’s visit also avoided creating images linking Harris to the government’s difficulties in processing a wave of migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months.

Unlike Vice President Mike Pence’s July 2019 border visit, which saw him appear alongside hundreds of migrants in a crowded detention center in McAllen, Texas, Harris did not appear on camera in a detention center or next to any migrants. He also did not visit the nearby border wall.

Instead, he met behind closed doors with five girls, ages 9 to 16, from Central America, who he said were “full of hope” despite their circumstances.

Harris also avoided a visit to Fort Bliss, the U.S. military base that currently houses some 1,500 unaccompanied migrant children in a shopping complex. reports of poor living conditions and mental health distress among the children in the facility.

Harris spokeswoman Symone Sanders did not respond when asked why Harris did not visit the facility, which is just 2 miles from El Paso airport, but said the administration s ‘is taking reports of unsafe conditions’ extremely seriously’. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, whose department oversees the facility for migrants, is scheduled to visit on Monday.

Harris and National Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, second from the left, visit the Paso del Norte port of entry on Friday.

Harris and his team were wary of making his trip Friday as a result of media pressure and criticism from Republicans because he had not yet visited the border, insisting instead that he had always planned to come after a trip to the U.S. ‘Central America.

“It was always the plan to come here,” Harris told reporters when he arrived Friday.

Although he eventually reached the border, he still faced criticism from Republicans and Conservative Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas for not visiting the Rio Grande Valley, which has been the epicenter of the increase in migrants from Texas. ‘this year.

Harris also took care to repeatedly raise his trip to the border as part of his mission to address the root causes of migration, amid attempts by Republicans to call it the “border tsar” of the Biden administration.

“This has been a journey that is also related to the very obvious point: if you want to deal with a problem, you can’t just deal with the symptom of the problem,” he said. “You have to find out what made it happen.”

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