After right-wing media badgered Vice President Kamala Harris for not visiting the United States’ southern border with Mexico, they are now criticizing her for her border visit in their blatant attempt to move the goal posts.
NPR reported today that Harris toured a Customs and Border Protection processing facility in El Paso, Texas, and met with some migrants who have come to the U.S. Harris is visiting El Paso at least in part because that’s where the Trump administration began a pilot program of its family separation policy. That policy, which right-wing media fervently defended, took children -- including babies -- away from parents who were arrested for crossing the border without authorization and placed those children in federal custody, without sufficient information to later reunite them. More than 2,000 separated children still have not been reunited with their families after the Trump administration policy was ended by a federal court order.
When Harris visited Guatemala and Mexico several weeks ago in an effort to focus on the root causes of migration from Central America, right-wing media -- particularly Fox News -- repeatedly demanded that she instead visit the U.S.-Mexico border. Fox had launched a monthslong campaign to pressure her into visiting the border, eventually spurring mainstream news organizations to regurgitate its criticism.
But now that Harris is visiting the border as Fox and other conservatives demanded, they’re criticizing her anyway -- attacking her now for not going to a different spot on the border. And as a Politico immigration reporter reminded people as these attacks began, a delegation of Republican lawmakers went to the same city as Harris for one of their recent tours of the border.
- Mark Morgan of the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform complained on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s The National Desk that Harris is “going to go to a place other than the epicenter of the crisis” and “should be going to the Rio Grande Valley that is the epicenter of the Southwest border crisis.”
- Breitbart.com repeated criticism from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) that Harris isn’t going to “the epicenter of the crisis.”
- The Daily Wire also channeled Republican criticism that Harris was not visiting “harder hit spots on the border where members of her own party have called her out.”
- Fox News host Sean Hannity on his radio show said Harris “will avoid any illegal immigration hot spots” during her visit “to make sure the American people don’t see the problem that she’s been avoiding.”
- Fox contributor and former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan criticized Harris for visiting El Paso, which he said isn’t the “epicenter of this crisis.”
- Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy complained Harris isn’t visiting “places like Roma, Texas, where people are coming across,” calling the vice president’s trip “simply a photo-op” to “check that box.”
- Fox contributor and The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway said Harris “making a visit to a place where there’s not much of a problem isn’t going to do anything.”
- Fox contributor Karl Rove repeatedly complained that Harris was visiting El Paso instead of other parts of Texas, saying she’s “going to the wrong place.”
- Fox contributor Trey Gowdy complained of Harris, “I’ve tried to figure out what is your reason for not going, and now that you are going, why are you going to be 750 miles from the epicenter of the crisis?”