President Biden had tasked his Vice President, Kamala Harris, with tackling the growing immigration crisis. Since Biden announced his Veep had been given that role, one look at the southern border, and anyone can see she hasn’t exactly been doing a bang-up job.
Last month alone, according to US Customs and Border Patrol, 234,088 migrants were apprehended at the southern border, the highest mark ever recorded.
Asked that same month if President Biden still had confidence in Harris and her ability to handle the situation, then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki replied, “he absolutely does.” But as the flow of migrants accelerates across the southern border, anything to do with immigration seems to have completely disappeared from the vice president’s public schedule.
A compilation of Harris’s schedule examined by the Los Angeles Times and reviewed and verified by RealClearPolitics (RCP), shows that Harris has not hosted a single immigration-specific event since last summer! The last one, a meeting with Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander leaders in the White House last August, only touched briefly on immigration. And those are hardly the areas of most concern to the current immigrant crisis, with the current flood of migrants mostly coming from Haiti and Cuba!
White House officials dispute any characterization that Harris’ public schedule tells the whole story. “The vice president continues to lead implementation of the Root Causes Strategy and has been engaging with Cabinet and other Administration officials on this effort,” Harris’ Press Secretary Kirsten Allen told RCP.
The White House continues to claim that addressing immigration issues remains a top priority for the VP. She leads top-level meetings that are not always made public, and she has taken point in diplomatic efforts in the region. For instance, it was Harris who traveled to Honduras for the inauguration of President Xiomara Castro in January. Administration officials hoped to find a new ally in that executive, someone who would help stem the flow of the millions of people heading north through Central America to the southern border. According to an official White House readout, Harris and Castro discussed “a broad range of issues.” Among them, migration, but also coronavirus, and the economy as well as corruption, and gender-based violence.
And yet, despite such efforts, the influx has not slowed, so again, if Vice President Harris is indeed taking point on immigration regardless of what her public schedule says, she is doing a lousy job.
The Department of Homeland Security is bracing for more record-breaking numbers at the border, and NBC News reports that there is concern in the department that they won’t have enough funding to address a surge if Title 42 – currently under a judicial stay — is indeed lifted as Biden intended.