Vice President Kamala Harris remains focused on improving living conditions in Central American countries, the White House said, not on the migrant border crisis on the southern border of the United States.
“Vice President Harris’s direct engagement is a testament to the importance we are placing on improving conditions in Guatemala,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday ahead of a virtual meeting with the president of Guatemala.
Psaki spoke about Harris’s role in handling the border crisis during the White House press briefing Monday.
Republicans repeatedly question Harris why she refuses to visit the border and publicly acknowledge the migrant crisis that began after she and President Joe Biden took office.
“I would tell you also that her focus is not on the border, it’s on addressing the root causes in the Northern Triangle,” Psaki said.
Psaki added Harris would speak with the president of Mexico next week to put “systems in place” to reduce migrants coming from countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
Since Biden appointed Harris to take the lead in addressing the migrant crisis, in March the vice president has insisted she is focused only on the “root causes” of the crisis in foreign countries.
At an event on the migrant crisis, Harris said the crisis itself was being handled by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
“The president has asked Secretary Mayorkas to address what is going on at the border. … I have been asked to lead the issue of dealing with root causes in the Northern Triangle,” she said.