Vice President Kamala Harris said on Tuesday that she plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border after facing months of criticism from Republicans for going 77 days without visiting the region amid the migration crisis.
"Yes, I will and I have before," she said during a media availability in Mexico City after meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. "Listen, anybody, especially if you’re from California you know, I’ve spent a lot of time on the border both going there physically and aware of the issues."
She did not give a precise date or mention a time frame.
The White House has insisted that her mandate is to try and solve the border crisis at its root cause, and a visit to the border would do little to achieve that.
Harris’ detractors say her decision not to visit the border is a calculated one. If the situation does not improve and she comes up short on her highest-profile task, that would not bode well for her political future. But if she fails to score a diplomatic victory, the administration can easily place blame on another country.
The vice president had a tense interview with NBC News earlier in the day when she was asked if she had plans to visit the border.
"I – at some point – you know – we are going to the border. We've been to the border," Harris replied. "So this whole – this whole – this whole thing about the border. We've been to the border. We've been to the border."
Harris was again pressed, with Lester Holt, the reporter, reminding the vice president that she, herself, has not been to the border while in office.
"I – and I haven't been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t – I don't understand the point that you're making," Harris said, adding "I'm not discounting the importance of the border."
Fox News' Adam Shaw and Brooke Singman contributed to this report