Vice President Kamala Harris was in Guatemala on Monday as part of her assignment from President Joe Biden to address the “root causes” of Central American migration to the U.S. border — a border she still has yet to visit since becoming vice president.
Asked about the criticism of her failure to visit the border, Harris dismissed doing so as ineffective “grand gestures” — even though she participated in such a visit to the border in 2018 as a senator in protest of then-President Donald Trump, Breitbart reported.
Harris’ double standard was called out in a pair of tweets from Mark Bednar, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
During a press conference Monday with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, a reporter asked Harris first about corruption in Central America followed by a query about her response to Republican criticism of her failure to visit the southern border amid the current migrant surge.
The vice president addressed the question about corruption before moving on to “the issue of Republicans’ political attacks, or criticism, or even concerns, the reason I am here in Guatemala as my first trip as vice president of the United States is because this is one of our highest priorities.”
“And I came here to be here on the ground to speak with the leader of this nation around what we can do in a way that is significant, is tangible, and has real results, and I will continue to be focused on that kind of work as opposed to grand gestures,” she added.
Harris visited border to join anti-Trump protest
Bednar tweeted a video of Harris’ response followed by a second tweet with a screenshot and link to a 2018 article about her joining an anti-Trump protest at the southern border near San Diego.
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) June 7, 2021
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported at that time that the protest against then-President Trump was in reaction to his “zero-tolerance” border policies, which in effect were nothing more than actually enforcing existing laws already on the books.
Further, in reference to the temporary detention facilities holding migrants who illegally crossed the border, Harris said, “I’m am a career prosecutor. I have visited many prisons and jails. That is a prison. You walk through the halls and the doors clink shut and there are bars on the windows.”
Harris’ tune changes
Interestingly enough, Harris’ dismissal of border visits as inconsequential “grand gestures” wasn’t her only display of hypocrisy in Guatemala, as Politico highlighted yet another substantial contradiction by the vice president, namely a reversal from her welcoming rhetoric to migrants throughout the years of Trump’s presidency.
In a blunt message directed at the Guatemalan people, Harris said, “I want to be clear to folks in the region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come,” and added, “I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back.”