When it comes to “well, duh!” moments, no reporter captured that sentiment better than Francesca Chambers writing for The Charlotte Observer. She opened with, “Vice President Kamala Harris’ immigration work has become the target of critics with a singular question: when will she visit the southern border?” Liberty Nation’s Andrew Moran also raised that question. Describing the Biden administration’s justification for Harris’ absence, Moran wrote:
“The administration contends that she was not tapped to stop unlawful migration. Instead, the vice president was tasked to resolve the ‘root causes’ of illegal immigration. Based on some of her policy prescriptions, it appears that the White House is truthful about these plans: hundreds of millions of dollars to Central America, tree planting endeavors, and social welfare programs.”
So, the American people, who see literally hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens flowing across the U.S.-Mexico border, finally realize the immigration crisis is a forest management challenge. When you find the “root causes,” the apparent solution is hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for “tree planting” programs. But trees coming across the border aren’t the problem.
To be fair, The New York Post describes a joint press conference with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei during Harris’ root cause-finding visit to Guatemala. The VP, with all the cache and gravitas attending her office, told the audience, “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.” Well, that solves that.
The Vice President’s logic that holds she doesn’t need to see the consequences of the Biden administration’s immigration policy to understand the “root causes” of the border calamity is mystifying. In effect, she is saying, “let the U.S. help you folks in Guatemala solve America’s border problem.” To deflect the criticism coming Harris’ way, according to Chambers, Sergio Gonzales, former senior political advisor to then-Senator Harris, said, “She cannot be distracted by Republicans attacking her on this issue. They have made a decision that they’re going to attack her on this issue…She is going to continue to, I think, focus on the policy work that she needs to do in order to be successful in driving progress in the region.”
That said, Harris reportedly does plan to visit the border – now that the former president, Donald Trump, has announced he’s going. Trump announced that he would be visiting the region with the Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, June 30. Not long after, Politico reported that Harris would also make the trip, alongside Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and that she would arrive at the border five days before Trump.
Criticism of Harris’ not visiting the border does not come from just Republicans, though. In a Fox News article, Adam Shaw writes, “Harris has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans for not visiting the border.” Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) said that he invited the VP to join him along with Members of Congress to visit:
“With the people on the ground who deal with these issues every day…I believe you must meet with local stakeholders and residents, consider their concerns and use their lived experiences to implement more effective policies…You know, we’ve invited her. I hope she can come down. Otherwise, she should have not been appointed border czar by the president. And that’s the reality.”
Cuellar said that he had not heard from Harris or her staff.
For her part, Harris does herself no favors assuming some attempt on her part to be compelling in her defense of what she is supposed to be doing. Her recent combative behavior was evident in interviews with both NBC’s Lester Holt and Univision’s Ilia Calderón – a side of the vice president they had not seen. It’s not surprising, as Liberty Nation Editor in Chief Leesa K. Donner explained, that Harris’ feisty, unpleasant character is just below the surface and sometimes not so well hidden. This leaves one question: If not the administration’s number two, then who is going to work the growing border crisis actively and effectively?
The logical person would be the Secretary Mayorkas.
Newsmax reports that, when pressed on the matter of the border during a recent Committee on Homeland Security hearing, Mayorkas conceded, “I am the secretary of Homeland Security, and it is my responsibility to manage the border at the direction of the president and the vice president and I have visited the border on multiple occasions.”
But those visits Mayorkas said came only after the president and vice president “requested and directed” him to visit. When Congressman Ralph Norman (R-SC) asked the Homeland Secretary whether Harris would visit the border, Mayorkas became defensive, calling the question “unfair” and “disrespectful.” He explained with a clever non sequitur that Harris had previously “‘served as the attorney general of a border state, of California,’ and that she was ‘quite familiar with the situation at the border.'”
Sort of like saying, “and she hasn’t been to Europe either.”
Secretary Mayorkas’ testimony did not instill confidence that, though charged with the responsibility of border security, he was enthusiastic about solving the chaos on the border. Interestingly, the Secretary was testifying on “the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) budget request for fiscal year 2022.” The Biden administration 2022 budget request for the DHS had the lowest increase of federal government agencies. The topline did not even fully account for inflation.
The bottom line is that the person charged with understanding and fixing the border crisis, VP Harris, goes to Central America in hopes that more trees will discourage immigrants from entering the U.S. illegally – oh, and she did tell them not to come. The person whose real job it is to fix the border, DHS Secretary Mayorkas, is more interested in defending the administration’s bizarre reluctance to visit the border disaster scene. One must ask: Will the real border czar please stand up?
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
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