Vice President Kamala Harris to visit U.S.-Mexico border on Friday, June 25

The goal is to "tackle the root causes," said the US vice president. Photo: (La Jornada Maya)

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will visit the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday for the first time since taking a lead role in immigration issues, her office said, bowing to pressure that she make the high-profile trip.

Harris will travel to El Paso, Texas, on Friday with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Harris spokeswoman Symone Sanders said.

Harris, who visited the U.S.-Mexico border many times as a senator and attorney general from California, was assailed by Republicans when she visited Mexico and Guatemala this month. She said she would go to the border eventually.

President Joe Biden assigned her the task of addressing the root causes of migration of thousands of people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who cross the U.S. border from Mexico.

A White House official who asked not to be named said Harris wanted to visit Guatemala and Mexico before going to the border. Since returning, she has been tied up with the vaccination awareness programs, infrastructure negotiations with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and events tied to boosting voting rights, the official said.

“She has always said she will visit the border but it was more like when is it the right time,” the official said. In Mexico, Harris told reporters she plans to visit the border without offering details.