Daily US Times: Kamala Harris has made her first trip as vice-president of the US to a southern border state as the White House faces growing pressure over a migrant crisis that shows no sign of ending.
In El Paso, Texas, the US vice-president called for an end to “finger-pointing”. She also criticised ex-President Donald Trump.
One of her fellow Democrats said this administration’s handling of the migrant crisis made the party look “weak”.
A record level of undocumented migrants have arrived at the US border this year.
The numbers of economic migrants and asylum seekers fleeing poverty, gang violence and corruption in Latin America are only expected to grow during the summer months. This year United States border agents have also separately apprehended two Yemeni men who were on a terror watchlist.
In Friday’s brief trip, Kamala Harris visited immigration facilities and met girl migrants aged 9-16 not far from border.
She said: “They were asking me questions: ‘How do you become the first woman vice-president?'”
“It also reminds me of the fact that this issue cannot be reduced to a political issue. We’re talking about children, we’re talking about families, we are talking about suffering.”
She called for an end to political “infighting” and “finger-pointing”. She also said during the trip: “It is here in El Paso that the previous administration’s child separation policy was unveiled,” in a reference to Mr Trump’s splitting up migrant families.
Critics said the vice-president should have visited a tent complex at nearby Fort Bliss, where migrant children are being held.
An investigation by BBC of the Fort Bliss detention centre found reports of sexual abuse, hungry children being served undercooked meat, Covid and lice outbreaks and sandstorms engulfing the desert tent camps where the young people are being held.
Kamala Harris’ motorcade was greeted by pro-Trump protesters waving flags. One demonstrator’s sign said: “How many little girls need to be raped for this to be a crisis?”