Harris heads to border after facing criticism for absence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris is set to make her first visit to the U.S.-Mexico border since taking office.

The visit to El Paso, Texas, is planned for Friday and comes after criticism from members of both parties over failing to go sooner despite her leading role in the administration’s response to a steep increase in migration.

While in El Paso, she will tour a Customs and Border Patrol processing center, hold a conversation with advocates from faith-based organizations as well as shelter and legal service providers, and deliver remarks.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is joining Harris for the trip.

So far, Harris has focused her efforts on improving economic and living conditions in the region. Her aides have insisted that her focus is distinct from the security issues that plague U.S. officials trying to handle a spike in border crossings.

The vice president has faced months of criticism from members of both parties for declining to make the trip thus far and for her muddied explanations as to why.

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