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EXCLUSIVE – Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Invited Vice President Harris to visit the US-Mexico border just a few miles from his district on the outskirts of San Diego.
“The conditions she saw as a senator on the border have worsened because of this administration’s policies, and she needs to see it firsthand,” Issa said in an exclusive interview with Fox News. “Anyone who sees this will actually make the decision that some of the policies put in place in the first 100 days of this administration must be rolled back. … unless you want open borders. ”
HARRIS SAYS SHE WILL VISIT THE SOUTHERN BORDER BUT DOES NOT SPECIFY WHEN
Issa extended his invitation to Harris via Twitter and his office said he plans to send a letter to the White House as well.
“The reason I want her to see the border in San Diego is because we had a border system, border fences that lowered crime and allowed border police to effectively and efficiently protect us from drug smugglers and human traffickers,” said Issa told Fox News. “We have the busiest land entry port in the world and are expanding it.”
Harris returned to the US this week after visiting Guatemala and Mexico. On Tuesday, she said she would visit the U.S.-Mexico border but didn’t say when.
“Yes, I will and I have before,” Harris replied to a question about whether she would visit the US southern border. “Look, everyone, especially if you’re from California, I’ve spent a lot of time on the border, both physically and aware of the problems.”
The White House has stressed the “root causes” of the crisis, such as poverty, climate change and violence in Central America, saying that Harris is not responsible for the border itself but for diplomatic efforts to address the root causes.
“Nothing has changed in Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador in the last six months. All the changes took place in the United States. It was about who was president and what the politics of the border were like,” Issa told Fox News. “Searching for the causes is fine, but looking for the change that resulted in more than 100,000 people being admitted to the US every month … that’s this government, not the causes.”
Issa said he would visit the U.S.-Mexico border with MP Juan Vargas, D-California, on Friday.
HARRIS, IN GUATEMALA, DECLARES TO POSSIBLE MIGRANTS THAT THEY WILL BE RETURNED
In an interview with NBC News that aired Tuesday, Harris laughed at a question about why she wasn’t at the border yet.
“And I haven’t been to Europe,” she said, “I don’t understand what you mean.”
But by Tuesday evening, she said she would visit the border, despite underscoring her belief that tackling the root causes in Central America was a key aspect in solving the ongoing border crisis – which has led to an increase in migration, including more than 178,000 migrant encounters and more than 13,000 unaccompanied children in April alone.
Despite the controversy surrounding the border visit, Harris declared her visits to Central America a success, claiming she had “made successful progress”.
She promoted agreements in Guatemala to set up task forces against corruption and smuggling, as well as an initiative to promote education and employment opportunities for women and girls.
What has been achieved in Mexico she highlighted $ 130 million US investment in Mexican labor protection and labor reform as well as other partnerships to combat human trafficking and smuggling organizations and a strategic partnership to address the root causes of migration in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
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When asked if Mexico had agreed to take back more migrant families who returned from the US for public health protection after Title 42, Harris said, “We did not discuss Title 42.”
Harris also warned that the “root causes” problem would not be resolved immediately in a single trip.
“So this work is the work that must be done with a commitment to go deep and make a commitment for a period of time, knowing that nothing we can do will do it overnight,” she said.
Fox News ‘request to Harris’ office regarding Issa’s invitation had not been answered at the time of publication.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.