Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to be at her Brentwood home Saturday and Sunday but has no public events scheduled, the White House said.
Harris arrived in Los Angeles early Friday afternoon, traveling by motorcade on the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway into Brentwood. The motorcade prompted some temporary closures along the freeway and along residential streets in the West Los Angeles area.
Harris spent four hours, 40 minutes in El Paso, Texas earlier Friday, accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. She had come under criticism from lawmakers — mainly Republicans but also from some Democrats — who questioned why she had not visited the border three months after being appointed by President Joe Biden to lead efforts to stem the flow of migrants the nation’s southern border.
“It was always the plan to be come here,” Harris told reporters upon her arrival in El Paso. “And I think we’re going to have a good and productive day.”
Harris stressed that she has “been to the border many times” and was focused on addressing not only the situation at the border but also on the “causes” driving the wave of immigration into the country. She said her visit was about “looking at the effects of what we have seen happening in Central America.”
Harris took a tour of the Customs and Border Protection facility in El Paso, then made a stop at the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry, considered one of the busiest pedestrian border crossings. During her visit, she met with five immigrant girls, aged 9-16, urging them to “work hard, study, dream and hope.”
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel criticized Harris’ trip.
“Make no mistake, the Biden-Harris administration’s failed policies and reckless open borders agenda is the true `root cause’ of the raging border crisis,” McDaniel said in a statement.
“After more than 90 days of lying to the American people and fueling the crisis at the border, Kamala’s layover in El Paso is too little, too late. Americans know that while Biden and Harris are refusing to take accountability for the crisis they created, Republican governors and local leaders are stepping up to protect their citizens.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has announced plans to build a border wall. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a fellow Republican, announced Friday that state law enforcement officers have deployed to Texas to provide additional support at the border.
“When the governors of Texas and Arizona reached out for help, Florida answered the call,” DeSantis said in a statement.
Resources from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission deployed Friday, including more than 50 staff law enforcement members from FDLE, FHP and FWC and “mission critical equipment,” DeSantis said.
Harris’ trip to El Paso came 10 days after former President Donald Trump announced he had accepted Abbott’s invitation “to join him on an official visit to our nation’s decimated southern border” June 30.
“If Governor Abbott and I weren’t going there next week, she would have never gone!” Trump said in a statement Wednesday.
The trip to Los Angeles is Harris’ fourth since becoming vice president. She most recently visited over Easter weekend.