Earlier this year, President Joe Biden tasked Vice President Kamala Harris with leading his administration’s efforts to address the immigration surge along the U.S. southern border.
As a new report asserts, Harris and her team began to “panic” after receiving the assignment in late March and set about attempting to distance the vice president from the U.S.-Mexico border to avoid any possible political backlash.
“Stemming the migration to our southern border”
Of course, she has also drawn harsh criticism over the subsequent weeks for her refusal to visit the border or even hold a formal press conference to discuss the plan.
Instead, she has opted to repeatedly stress that her responsibility was to address the “root causes” of migration from Central America and it did not encompass the border problem.
On March 24, Biden announced that he had tapped Harris to “lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle” as they pertain to “stemming the migration to our southern border.”
He went on to assert that the vice president had already “agreed to lead our diplomatic effort and work with those nations,” which included enhancement of “migration enforcement” along each of their borders.
The president concluded with a ringing endorsement, declaring that “there’s no one better capable of trying to organize this for us.”
Continued focus on “root causes”
According to multiple unnamed sources, however, the vice president’s team appeared “dismayed” and staffers seemed to “panic” following Biden’s announcement and were worried that her role would be “mischaracterized” and “politically damaging” if she became linked in the media to the situation at the southern border.
As such, the strategy has clearly been to disassociate Harris from the border by focusing narrowly on her responsibility to report on the “root causes” of migration from Northern Triangle nations.
A common response being pushed by the vice president’s aides is that she does not directly manage the southern border.
Nevertheless, her political rivals and many border experts agree that the motivation for illegal immigration and the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border are fundamentally linked.
Along the way, Harris has reportedly been receiving regular briefings regarding what is actually happening along the border to become fully aware of the extent of the problems. She has yet to speak directly to the American people or reporters about the crisis or personally visit the border, leading to the perception that she is doing little, if anything, to fulfill her presidential assignment.