When the going gets tough, the tough … punts? Without even a cursory look at the messy surge of illegal immigrants on America’s southern border, President Joe Biden tossed the political hot potato to his vice president. Still unable to label it for what it is – a crisis – the commander in chief said Kamala Harris was the perfect person “to lead our efforts” against the “serious spike” in immigration at the border.
Kamala in Charge
Harris, the daughter of immigrants, will have her work cut out for her. Biden announced:
“… I’ve asked her, the VP, today — because she’s the most qualified person to do it — to lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle and the countries that help — are going to need help in stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border.”
The VP said that there is “no question this is a challenging situation” and that “the work will not be easy. But it is important work.” Part of her plan is to work with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico to help reduce the number of migrants attempting to cross into the U.S. She also said it is important to discover the factors that are driving the migration, such as gang violence. Harris explained:
“And while we are clear that people should not come to the border now, we also understand that we will enforce the law and that we also — because we can chew gum and walk at the same time — must address the root causes that — that cause people to make the trek, as the President has described, to come here.”
And, just as is the left’s modus operandi, much of the blame was put onto Donald Trump’s presidency. Biden said the surge started before he took office because of many factors, including natural disasters in those countries. “So this new surge we’re dealing with now started with the last administration, but it’s our responsibility to deal with it humanely and to – and to stop what’s happening,” the president said.
Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey didn’t much approve of the president’s choice, saying Harris is “the worst possible choice” to work on the border crisis. He said Biden had “completely trivialized the issue by putting someone in charge who flat out just doesn’t care.” The governor, who autographed Trump’s border wall, continued: “I’ve been governor under three presidents, and this is by far the worst situation we’ve seen. Washington has never been more out of touch, and it starts at the top.” Harris has called the wall a “vanity project” as well as a waste of taxpayer funds.
Legal Trouble at the Border?
Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is looking into whether Biden violated the law by freezing border wall construction and the funds that Congress had assigned to the project. More than 60 Republican House lawmakers as well as four GOP senators wrote the GAO on March 24 to ask for its assistance in making a determination.
According to the Constitution, Congress allocates funds, and the president makes sure they go where they are supposed to. Biden used his authority to sign executive orders that halted the construction of the wall and froze the $1.4 billion already approved for the border project as part of the $900 billion stimulus package in December. According to some lawmakers, that goes beyond his authority as president. At the time, Biden said:
“Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats. But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) admonished the president’s actions: “He was in the Congress a long time. He knows it’s the Congress’s job to authorize how the money is spent and the president’s job to spend it efficiently.”
Read more from Kelli Ballard.