Vice President Kamala Harris has been in charge of the ongoing child migrant crisis at the United States-Mexico border, but instead of visiting the ever-increasing number of detention camps housing unaccompanied children, many of which are now far above capacity, Harris will spend the week touting President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan and touring sites dispensing the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Monday, Harris joined embattled California governor Gavin Newsom in Oakland, California, at a water treatment facility that the Los Angeles Times noted is expected to benefit from the multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan proposed last week.
“The trip included a tour with the governor of the kind of water-treatment facility that could benefit from the proposed infrastructure plan President Biden unveiled last week. It includes more than $100 billion for a variety of water projects, including replacing lead pipes and improving groundwater storage in the West,” according to the outlet.
Harris gave a short speech on the importance of “water equity.”
“Water is a nonpartisan issue,” she told the small crowd. “These are issues that really should be treated, frankly, not as bipartisan but nonpartisan. The people who are impacted by these issues really, they will be impacted regardless of who they voted for in the last election. And here’s the other piece of it which is equally important: to address water infrastructure is to create millions of jobs, potentially.”
Although Harris did not discuss the child migrant crisis, the federal government is considering at least two more temporary detention facilities inside the state of California to hold the ever-increasing number of unaccompanied minors being captured at the United States-Mexico border, also according to the L.A. Times. The situation is so dire that California’s state government is polling foster families, looking for extra beds, per Fox News.
Some California families report they are being asked to house as many as 26 migrant children at a time.
Harris departed California for Illinois on Tuesday, where she will meet with the state’s governor, JB Pritzker, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot about how the state is handling distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Chicago Tuesday to tour a COVID-19 vaccination site,” WGN Chicago reported. “Harris’ visit is expected to highlight equitable vaccine distribution.”
“You have given us hope. You inspire us and you lead us at a time when we need real leadership in the White House,” Mayor Lightfoot said during the Vice President’s visit to the vaccination site.
“We are not alone. You are not alone. We are all in this together,” Harris said in her own remarks. “On behalf of the President, of myself, we’re getting more vaccines out now. Getting more vaccines out the door. Please help your friends and your family.”
She also encouraged minority communities to band together to get vaccinated.
“If you talk with them and talk about your experience, you will convince people,” she said. “So I’m here to ask you to do that. I’m here to ask you to do it. Because you know we can have celebrities and so-called famous people doing it, but the people who carry the most weight are our peers and the people we respect.”
Harris is not expected to tour the border this week or anytime soon, even as the number of child migrants increases, and even as border state officials demand the Biden administration get a firsthand look at the situation on the southern border. The Arizona Attorney General issued an invitation to Harris to tour the border Monday, and Texas officials have been pressuring the Biden administration to make an appearance since late March.