Loading...

Biden Taps Harris to Take Lead on Response to Border Crisis

March 24, 2021 by TWN Staff
Biden Taps Harris to Take Lead on Response to Border Crisis
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a business roundtable event at Maria Empanada, Tuesday March 16, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is putting Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of leading the White House effort to get a handle on the surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Biden made the announcement as he and Harris met at the White House on Wednesday with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other immigration advisers to discuss the increase in young migrants arriving at the border in recent weeks.

“Starting today, the Northern Triangle nations and Mexico will know there was one senior official dedicated to this effort. To be very clear, this is an important task,” a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call shortly before the announcement.

Harris will lead efforts with Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to manage the flow of unaccompanied children and migrant families arriving at the border in numbers not seen since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

In delegating the matter to Harris, Biden is taking a step very similar to one President Barack Obama took, turning to his vice president — Joe Biden — early in his first term, to lead the White House effort to draw down U.S. troops in the intractable war in Iraq.

In his remarks on Wednesday, Biden spoke of “serious spikes” in the number of people heading to the U.S.-Mexico border. “This new surge we are dealing with now started in the past administration but is our responsibility,” he said.

“I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this,” Biden said, mentioning Harris’ work as California attorney general.
 
Harris said there is “no question this is a challenging situation,” and that it will be critical going forward to both enforce existing laws on immigration while also addressing the root causes of the surge.

She also said she looks forward to engaging in diplomacy with the four countries, as well as engaging with the private sector in each of them.

With the move, Biden hopes to show Americans he’s taking the border situation seriously after facing stiff criticism from Republicans as the flow of migrants has increased since he took office in January.

The announcement and high-level meeting coming the same day the White House arranged a trip for senior aides and member of Congress to South Texas illustrated the breadth of the administration’s efforts to get control of the problem.

In The News

Health

Voting

Immigration

January 6, 2023
by Dan McCue
White House Toughens Border Policy

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the United States would immediately begin turning away Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans... Read More

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the United States would immediately begin turning away Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans who cross the border from Mexico illegally. The new rules expand on an existing effort to stop Venezuelans attempting to enter the U.S., which began in... Read More

January 4, 2023
by Dan McCue
ABA Releases Primer on Immigration Enforcement at the Border

WASHINGTON — Despite the inflammatory rhetoric of some lawmakers and the media reports that often parrot it, the surge of... Read More

WASHINGTON — Despite the inflammatory rhetoric of some lawmakers and the media reports that often parrot it, the surge of asylum seekers at the southern border of the U.S. is not a “security threat,” but instead an understandable flow of refugees that must be addressed as... Read More

US Reopening Visa and Consular Services at Embassy in Cuba

HAVANA (AP) — The United States Embassy in Cuba is reopening visa and consular services Wednesday, the first time it... Read More

HAVANA (AP) — The United States Embassy in Cuba is reopening visa and consular services Wednesday, the first time it has done so since a spate of unexplained health incidents among diplomatic staff in 2017 slashed the American presence in Havana. The Embassy confirmed this week... Read More

December 28, 2022
by Dan McCue
Justices Hold Title 42 to Remain in Place Pending Expedited Review

WASHINGTON —  A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday held that Title 42, the pandemic-era rule that restricted migration at the... Read More

WASHINGTON —  A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday held that Title 42, the pandemic-era rule that restricted migration at the southwestern border on public health grounds, will remain in place pending an expedited ruling and future ruling by the justices. In a brief, unsigned order, a... Read More

December 20, 2022
by Dan McCue
Chief Justice Keeps Title 42 in Place at Border for Now

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John Roberts on Monday issued a temporary order granting a request from Republican officials in 19... Read More

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John Roberts on Monday issued a temporary order granting a request from Republican officials in 19 states to block the Biden administration from letting Title 42 expire at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday. The order was cheered by the petitioning states as it... Read More

November 17, 2022
by Dan McCue
Federal Judge Stays Title 42 Ruling to Give Administration Time to Adjust

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday granted the Biden administration’s request for a stay of his earlier order, striking... Read More

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday granted the Biden administration’s request for a stay of his earlier order, striking down the controversial Title 42, a Trump-era immigration policy that has since allowed authorities to expel more than 2.4 million migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.... Read More

News From The Well