KAMALA Harris has admitted she has not visited the southern border in her capacity as border “czar”.
The vice-president, who was answering questions for the first time on the crisis 31 days since Joe Biden put her in charge of the catastrophe, also said progress would not be “overnight”.
Harris has been slammed for refusing to visit the border despite the White House putting her in charge of one of the administration’s biggest hurdles.
In the 32 days since Biden gave her the new role, she has not visited the southern border or held any press conferences related to the crisis.
But she has now broken her silence in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash.
Harris admitted she has not visited the border as the number of people trying to enter the country illegally continues to spike.
She said this was because Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was in charge of addressing the crisis there.
“We are making progress but it is not going to evidence itself overnight”, she said.
Instead of visiting the overflowing detention facilities, she said she believed Central American migrants do not want to leave their home country.
She said: “Most people don’t want to leave home, They don’t want to leave their grandparents.
“They don’t want to leave the place where they grew up.”
We are making progress but it is not going to evidence itself overnight
Kamala Harris, vice-president
Her comments came as a shocking report from Unicef revealed a sharp rise in migrant children in Mexico.
Children comprise at least 30 per cent of migrants in Mexican shelters, who come from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and the country itself.
Half have travelled without their parents, which is among the highest proportions ever recorded in Mexico.
The agency estimates that an average of 275 additional migrant children find themselves in Mexico every day after being detected by the authorities, waiting to cross into the US, or being returned.
But while she was not planning a trip to the border, she said she said she was planning to visit leaders in the Northern Triangle countries.
She said: “Yes, we’re working on a plan to get there, we’re working through COVID issues.”
Harris will hold a virtual meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on May 7 to discuss migration amid an increase in underage migrants at the U.S. southern border.
Mexico’s top diplomat revealed the news and said the video meeting will focus on Mexico’s questioned tree-planting program.
In March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released data showing they had encountered the highest number of unaccompanied children in history crossing the southern border.
Texas, Arizona and Missouri are suing the Biden administration for allowing alleged “criminals and human traffickers” into the US as the migrant border crisis continues, reports say.
The Sun Online reported in early April how Biden had defended Harris’ inaction during the border crisis, praising her for “never failing to speak the truth”.