EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)– During a brief meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris during her trip to El Paso on Friday, local organizations were able to share their perspectives over issues on the border.
“Today I want to hear from you, you’re on the ground and have been on the ground,” Harris told members from faith-based organizations, immigration advocacy groups and groups that provide legal services to migrants.
Some of those groups included in the round table discussion included the Hope Border Institute, Las Americas, Border Network for Human Rights, the Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, Annunciation House and the Diocese of El Paso.
“It was a good visit, she came to listen, came to learn,” Dylan Corbett, the executive director of the Hope Border Institute, said.
Corbett mentioned it was crucial Harris spoke with these local groups rather than just with federal officials and lawmakers during her time in El Paso.
“I think she left with a better understanding of the challenges we face as a border community and I think she also left with a better understanding how important border communities are and the role they play,” Corbett said.
Harris told groups she wanted to have a “candid conversation” about what the organizations saw as reasons why people arrive in El Paso and anything else they’d like to discuss.
“As you know, we inherited a tough situation, in fact, right here in El Paso was the launch of the child separation policy you saw it as it rolled out on the ground,” Harris said.
The groups presented ideas to Harris discussing what they’ve seen on the home-front, but added it was a brief meeting.
“The way I look at it is these are big complicated questions that are not going to be resolved by one visit,” Bishop Mark Seitz said. “We hope it will open the door to future conversations and future efforts to future conversations that will move forward so it’s not just a cycle that repeats every election,” Seitz said.