Harris says U.S. feeling 'disastrous effects' of Trump immigration policy

Among the problems at the border is a record surge of unaccompanied minors.
Vice President Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday cast blame on Trump immigration policies for the current problems at the southwest U.S. border, saying America is now seeing the "disastrous effects."

Among those problems is a record surge of unaccompanied minors to the border.

"It is here in El Paso, that the previous administration's child-separation policy was unveiled. And so we've seen the disastrous effects of that, right here in this region," said Harris after spending a day in the Texas city as the Biden administration's border immigration czar.

Harris was appointed by President Biden in March to address the surge of illegal immigrants, particularly the unaccompanied minors. She made a trip two weeks ago to Guatemala and Mexico, but Friday was her fist trip under her new post to the U.S. Mexico border. 

"It is here in El Paso, that the return to Mexico policy from the previous administration was implemented, we have seen the disaster that resulted from here in El Paso," Harris also said.

In El Paso, Harris visited a migrant processing center, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility and talked with immigrants, including unaccompanied minors, and members of charity groups, according to CNN.

She said her effort is a two-pronged approach – identifying the root cause of the immigration surge at the border and looking at the effect.

"My trip to Guatemala and Mexico was about addressing the root causes," she said. "So the work that we have to do is the work of addressing the cause, the root causes. Otherwise, we will continue to see the effect of what is happening at the border."

Harris was joined in her visit by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

"I said back in March I was going to come to the border," Harris upon arriving to El Paso. "This is not a new plan."

The number of immigrants at the southern border typically surges in the spring, but this year has been especially high. Critic of the new administration say Biden added to the annual surge by signal a change in U.S. policy regarding unaccompanied minors.

In May, CBP encountered more than 180,000 illegal migrants at the southern border with Mexico.