Vice President Kamala Harris used her first foreign trip as an attempt to make a strong statement about illegal immigration to the U.S., but it simply fell flat.
This week’s warning of “do not come,” directed at people living in poverty and under constant threat of danger, isn’t likely to do much to stem the flow of migrants to the U.S. They’ve heard it before.
The U.S. has been warning migrants against making the dangerous trip to the border for years, yet they’re still coming -- and in unprecedented numbers.
Law enforcement agencies along the border encountered nearly 19,000 unaccompanied children in March, the highest on record according to the Associated Press. There were more than 170,000 encounters on the border in April, the highest in 20 years.
It’s hard to take Harris or the Biden administration seriously on immigration when they’ve appeared to do everything possible to avoid the issue altogether.
The Administration has been working to halt the border wall construction, and they’re continuing to make use of the facilities they rightfully criticized the Trump administration for using.
In fact, it’s clear that the White House shares some of the blame for this recent surge. Biden declared he wanted to change President Trump’s immigration policies, including proposals for paths to citizenship for those already in the U.S.
It was a welcoming message to people seeking a better life. Hardly a warning of “do not come.”
To make matters worse, Harris hasn’t even visited the border region yet, despite being named the point-person on immigration issues by President Biden months ago.
She defended her ongoing absence during her weekend trip to Guatemala, telling reporters that the problem can’t be fixed with a simple visit.
Harris framed her trip as an attempt to get to the heart of the immigration issue, fixing problems in the countries of origin to stop the flow of economic migrants in the first place. That’s important, to be sure.
Harris, however, is trying to fix the cracks in the dam when there’s already a flood downstream. The administration should absolutely work with Latin America if that will eventually lead to progress. But we have a bigger problem at home, right now, that needs immediate attention.
— Today’s News-Herald