EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Vice President Kamala Harris touched down in El Paso around 7:45 a.m. on Friday.
“We are here today to address and to talk about what has brought people to the US border and again to continue to address the root causes which caused people to leave and often flee their home country,” Harris said moments after landing.
Harris traveled to El Paso with Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Sen. Dick Durbin and El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar.
After arriving, Harris then went to the migrant processing facility in Northeast El Paso, arriving around 8:15 a.m. She was briefed by Border Patrol agents and given a tour of the processing facility, where she met with five young girls from Central America. She left the facility around 9:25 a.m. and headed to the Paso Del Norte Bridge in Downtown El Paso.
The stop at the port of entry was unplanned, but Harris saw where asylum-seekers are screened when coming from Mexico to the U.S., as well as a secondary migrant processing facility and the area of the bridge where vehicles are inspected when crossing from Juarez.
Harris left the Paso Del Norte bridge at 10:01 a.m.
Harris arrived back at the airport around 10:20 a.m. and met with advocates, non-profits, and those who provide shelter and legal services to migrants.
During the roundtable, the Vice President spoke about principles the administration is using as an approach to immigration.
“We have the capacity to give people hope, and the belief that help is on the way and so those principles are a large part of what’s informing the work that we’ve been doing addressing the root causes,” she said.
She went on to say: “Our administration, it is important to be clear is working to create a fair, a functional, and a humane immigration system. As you know, we inherited a tough situation in fact right here in El Paso was the launch of the child separation policy.”
Harris traveled Los Angeles after leaving El Paso.
“The highlights of her visit were the conversations she had with El Pasoans – tireless advocates and law enforcement – and with vulnerable young migrant girls seeking a better life,” Escobar said in a statement. “These conversations underscored the importance of border and migrant voices and the progress made by the Biden-Harris administration.