Several top members of the Biden administration were in Mexico City on Friday for a meeting with Mexican officials regarding security along the U.S.-Mexico border. But Vice President Kamala Harris was not among them.
Harris, whom President Biden appointed in March to steer the U.S. response to the migrant crisis along the border, went to New Jersey instead.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorka, and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland attended Friday’s high-level negotiations in Mexico’s capital.
Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado who now serves as the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, also attended.
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“Today’s high – level security dialogue marks an important new phase in the US-Mexico security partnership,” Mayorka tweeted on Friday. “We will work together under a new framework to guide our joint efforts and work towards our common goal of security and prosperity for our two nations.”
Harris, meanwhile, traveled to Garden State and visited a day care center at Montclair State University in Little Falls and a vaccination site at Essex County Community College in Newark to advance the Biden administration’s agenda.
The vice president last visited the border in June and spent several hours in El Paso, Texas, while on her way to her home in California. It is the only time she has been at the border since she took office.
She then traveled to Los Angeles again as early as next weekend and spent the July 4th vacation at her home.
Harris has been subjected to relentless criticism from Republicans, who say her avoidance of the border area has deprived her of valuable first-hand knowledge of border-related issues.
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“Vice President Harris ignores the real problem areas along our southern border that are not protected by the border wall and are being overrun by the federal government’s ill-conceived, open border policy,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. prior to her trip in late June.
Harris and her spokespersons have countered that she has focused on behind-the-scenes discussions with Latin American leaders about the “root causes” of migration, such as poverty and political corruption in countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Probably in response to GOP criticism, Harris told potential migrants, “Do not come” to the United States, when she visited Guatemala in early June.
She also raised eyebrows to waver over questions posed by journalists about the border at the time.
“I have not been to Europe. I mean, I do not understand the point you make,” laughed Harris, a question from NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt about whether she planned to go to the border before her June visit to Texas. was planned.
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“Since March, Vice President Kamala Harris has spearheaded the administration’s diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras,” the White House said in a statement over the summer to advance its root cause strategy plan. “She has worked with bilateral, multilateral and private partners as well as civil society leaders to help people from the region find hope at home.”
The White House did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment late at night.