WASHINGTON, D.C. — Vice President Kamala Harris will head to the United States-Mexico border on Friday.
The trip is part of the Biden administration's effort to limit migration from Central American countries into the U.S.
The upcoming trip to El Paso comes as Harris has been dogged by extended criticism of her absence at the border by Republicans as she has taken on the role of leading the Biden administration's diplomatic efforts on migration.
During the White House press briefing Wednesday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the trip was part of "the coordinated effort between her office, her work, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services" to address the causes of increased migration.
Psaki later said that Harris hadn't visited earlier because she "didn't want to visit a time when it would be disruptive to efforts on the ground."
Biden tapped Harris earlier this year to lead his administration's effort to contain the large increase of migrants who have been encountered at the border by U.S. officials.
As part of that effort, Harris traveled to Guatemala and Mexico earlier this month to meet with foreign leaders about the root causes of the migration. She did not visit the border during that trip, prompting criticism from Republicans.
Amid her trip, during an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Harris compared visiting the border with visiting Europe.
"At some point, you know, we are going to the border," Harris said in the interview.
"We've been to the border. So this whole, this whole, this whole thing about the border. We've been to the border. We've been to the border," Harri said.
"You haven't been to the border," Holt responded.
"I, and I haven't been to Europe. And I mean, I don't — I don't understand the point that you're making," Harris said "I'm not discounting the importance of the border."
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will also take part in the visit.
This story is breaking and will be updated.