- Biden Taps Harris to Lead Response to Immigration Crisis on the Southern Border
- Harris’s Response to the Immigration Crisis at the Southern Border
- Steps Taken by the Administration to Curtail Flow of Migrants
- Surge in Immigrants Showing up at the Southern Border
- The Root Cause Behind Migrants Fleeing from Central American Countries
- Biden Picks Kamala Harris: Trump Responds, Democrats Unite, Harris’s Net Worth, And More
- Key Background
- Chief Critic
- Big Number
- Surprising Fact
- What To Watch For
Biden Taps Harris to Lead Response to Immigration Crisis on the Southern Border
President Joe Biden announced yesterday that he has appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the administration’s efforts to stem the flow of migrants seeking entry into the United States. As the number seeking to cross the U.S. southern border continues to soar, Harris will address this issue by seeking cooperation with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries.
According to a senior administration official, Harris will lead the White House focus on immigration issues in Mexico and the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras), so it will be clear that “there is one single figure dedicated to this effort.” This announcement came after Biden and Harris met with Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and other immigration advisers.
“I have asked her, the VP, today, because she is the most qualified person to do it, to lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle and the countries that are going to need help in stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border,” Biden said.
Harris’s Response to the Immigration Crisis at the Southern Border
“While we are clear that people should not come to the border now, we also understand that we will enforce the law and that we also — because we can chew gum and walk at the same time — must address the root causes that cause people to make the trek, as the president has described, to come here,” Harris said.
“I look forward to engaging in diplomacy with government, with private sector, with civil society, and the leaders of each in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to strengthen democracy and the rule of law and ensure shared prosperity in the region.” Harris further urged everyone to be patient, saying that “It’s going to take some time.”
Steps Taken by the Administration to Curtail Flow of Migrants
Harris’s work is expected to run along two tracks, said a White House official. The first is to address the swell of migrants entering the U.S.
at the southern border, and the second is to build long-term partnerships with the Central American countries that people are fleeing. “She’ll work first on the goal of stemming the flow of irregular migrants to the U.S.
… but at the same time, the real goal is to establish a strategic partnership with these countries respect and shared values,” the official said.
To manage the surge in migrants, the administration has opened new facilities – including a tent city in Midland, Texas, and a Convention Center in Dallas.
Biden has promised to invest $4 billion in the Northern Triangle to address root causes of migration, including economic problems, ongoing violence, climate change, and worsening government corruption.
This money is yet to be appropriated by Congress.
The pandemic is also complicating the situation. HHS confirmed that since March, 24 unaccompanied minors were tested positive for COVID. HHS released data that 2,587 children were released from medical isolation and 1,819 have moved from isolation and have since been discharged to a sponsor.
Surge in Immigrants Showing up at the Southern Border
Since the Biden administration came to power, the number of immigrants making the dangerous journey across Mexico and trying to enter the U.S. has soared. The administration turned down many thousands of migrants.
But the administration is accepting unaccompanied minors, who have arrived in record numbers. Currently, the administration says the U.S. has custody of 15,000 migrant children for whom housing and care must be provided.
Thousands of children are being housed at the Border Patrol cells, which are originally meant for adult detention.
These facilities are over-crowded, and pictures show children sleeping in packed cells on hard floors.
The administration is trying its best to move these children Border Patrol facilities and transferring them into housing overseen by HHS. In HHS, children will be provided education, health, and legal services.
The Root Cause Behind Migrants Fleeing from Central American Countries
Migrants are fleeing Central American countries including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, due to economic instability, gang violence, corruption, domestic violence, and the havoc caused by extreme weather conditions. While some are merely crossing the border for a better life, many are also fleeing fear of persecution by their oppressors.
Administration officials said that the long-term goal to address the surge of migrants fleeing their country is to combat corruption, enforcing border security, implementing good governance practices, overseeing diplomatic efforts, as well as other long-term strategies. Solving these issues will mean going into the “root causes of migration.”
©2020 Norris McLaughlin P.A., All Rights ReservedNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 84
Biden Picks Kamala Harris: Trump Responds, Democrats Unite, Harris’s Net Worth, And More
Updated Aug 11, 2020, 08:26pm EDT
Former Vice President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he is tapping his former Democratic primary opponent Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as his vice presidential nominee, ending months of speculation surrounding the first ever female-exclusive VP selection process.
Sen. Kamala Harris (L) (D-CA), Sen. Cory Booker (R)(D-NJ), and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer … [+] join Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on stage at a campaign rally March 8.
“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked Kamala Harris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden tweeted.
A former career prosecutor, Harris served as San Francisco district attorney from 2004 to 2011 and California attorney general from 2011 to 2017, before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016.
Harris quickly drew headlines for her tough lines of questioning towards Trump administration nominees and officials, such as her 2017 grilling of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his frequent claims that he couldn’t recall details of his discussions with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
Harris launched her campaign in January and was instantly cast as a leading contender for the nomination, but failed to garner broad, lasting support for her bid–including among black voters–particularly sustaining damage for stumbling over her position on Medicare-for-All.
Harris’s most notable moment and largest polling bump of the campaign came when she clashed with Biden at a Democratic primary debate over his record on busing in the 1970s and his “hurtful” anecdotes about rosy relationships with segregationist senators, with Harris accusing him of opposing busing and Biden calling it a “mischaracterization” of his positions and hitting Harris’s record as a prosecutor.
But after dropping out in December and endorsing Biden in March, Harris’s public relationship with Biden rapidly improved, with Harris frequently and effusively headlining fundraising events for Biden and brushing off concerns about their clash over busing.
“Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” Biden said of Harris, adding, “I was proud then, and I'm proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”
Harris praised Biden as someone who can “unify the American people because he's spent his life fighting for us,” adding, “I'm honored to join him as our party's nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”
The Trump campaign released an ad and statement claiming Harris “ran for president by rushing to the radical left” and slammed her for joining Biden’s ticket after attacking him during the primary, labelling her “Phony Kamala.”
Some on the left took aim at Biden’s pick as well; Briahna Joy Gray, a former press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)’s 2020 presidential campaign, slammed the Democratic party for running a “a ‘top cop’ and the author of the Joe Biden crime bill to save us from Trump” amid protests against police violence, asserting that it shows “contempt for the base.”
But progressive politicians, including those who ran against Harris for president and vice president, lauded the pick; Sanders tweeted that Harris “understands what it takes to stand up for working people,” and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) called Harris a “great choice” because of her “tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people.”
More establishment Democratic politicians were wise highly supportive of the pick, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saying that Harris will “continue her legacy of trailblazing leadership to move our nation forward,” as vice president, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeting that Harris has been “an outstanding Senator and will be an outstanding Vice President!”
Former President Barack Obama tweeted, “I’ve known Senator Kamala Harris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing.”
Harris and Biden are slated to deliver joint remarks on Wednesday in Wilmington, DE, focused on “working together to restore the soul of the nation and fight for working families to move the country forward.”
“You can’t be successful at the highest levels of national politics for 40 years he has without the rapid ability to turn yesterday’s rivals into today’s allies,” Harris’s former press secretary Ian Sams said of Biden in June.
Biden pledged to pick a woman in March, and his rumored shortlist included governors, members of congress and even mayors and state legislators.
He also faced pressure to pick a woman of color Harris, especially in the aftermath of the George Floyd protests, which ignited a national debate over race and policing.
But Biden frequently said his top criteria for a running mate were that they were “simpatico with me, both in terms of personality as well as substance,” and had the ability to govern if Biden, 78, were unable to perform the duties of president.
Kamala Harris and her husband, attorney Doug Emhoff, had a fortune of $6 million as of August, 2019, according to Forbes reporter Michela Tindera. The bulk of the money comes from Emhoff’s legal work and profits from several books authored by Harris.
Despite advocating firmly progressive positions during her presidential campaign universal government health care, a $15 minimum wage, legalizing marijuana and debt-free college, the left took aim at Harris most sharply for her tenure as California attorney general. She was slammed by left-wing activists for contemporaneously calling herself the state’s “top cop,” with “Kamala is a cop” becoming a viral meme that would come to broadly define the leftist opposition to her candidacy.
32%. A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,992 registered voters pegged Harris at 32% favorability and 34% unfavorability.
While she is well known with voters, she lacks universal name recognition, with 1 in 5 voters saying they have never heard of her and another 14% saying they have no opinion.
But in the end, Harris may not have an outsized impact on the outcome in November; 54% of registered voters said Biden’s VP pick wouldn’t impact how they vote in November, while 16% said it would have a major impact and 20% said it would have a minor impact.
Harris is the first woman of color to run for either president or vice president on a major party ticket. Her election as vice president would make her the first Black American to serve in the role and the first woman or Indian-American to serve as either president or vice president.
What To Watch For
The Trump campaign will doubtless use Harris’s confrontation with Biden over busing against the Democratic ticket, but Harris brings with her numerous advantages as well. Her experience as a large state attorney general and U.S.
senator make it difficult to argue against her qualifications for the job, and having run for president before, she rejoins the campaign trail intimately familiar with the scrutiny and spotlight of the national political stage.
In that respect, Harris may be what many have described as the “do no harm” candidate, providing modest benefits to Biden with limited risk.