During an interview with NBC News Tuesday, Harris, who has been criticized by Republicans for not making the trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, was asked whether she had any plans to do so.
"I – at some point – you know – we are going to the border. We've been to the border," Harris stuttered. "So this whole – this whole – this whole thing about the border. We've been to the border. We've been to the border."
Harris was again pressed, with NBC’s Lester Holt reminding the vice president that she, herself, has not been to the border while in office.
"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 replied, "I'm not discounting the importance of the border."
"Listen, I care about what's happening at the border," Harris declared, noting that she is "in Guatemala because my focus is dealing with the root causes of migration."
"There may be some who think that that is not important, but it is my firm belief that if we care about what's happening at the border, we better care about the root causes and address them," she added. "And so that's what I'm doing."
In a tweet Tuesday morning, the vice president wrote that she was in Mexico City "to renew our nation's important partnership with Mexico," glossing over any mention of immigration and the border.
Harris has come under heavy criticism from Republicans for the way she has handled the role since being appointed to it 75 days ago. While the White House has emphasized she is not tasked with the border per se, Republicans have criticized her repeatedly for not having visited the border at all – with former Trump officials saying she needs to go to the border in order to be able to conduct the talks effectively.
Harris’ comments came following a visit to Guatemala, for her first visit abroad since being appointed by President Biden to lead diplomatic efforts to the region to help solve the massive spike in migration to the border in recent months.
Harris, during a press conference alongside Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei told potential migrants that they should not travel to the U.S. Mexico border – claiming that they would be turned back if they did.
"I want to emphasize that the goal of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope at home, at the same time I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making the dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border – do not come, do not come," the VP declared.
"There are legal methods by which migration can and should occur but we, as one of our priorities, will discourage illegal migration and I believe if you come to our border you will be turned back."