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Monday, August 2, 2021

Treating border as flyover country: Harris is not serious about curbing illegal immigration

Vice President Kamala Harris was put in charge of addressing the illegal immigration crisis at the southern border on March 24. Now, 85 days after President Joe Biden passed the buck, it’s increasingly clear that she takes neither the assignment, nor the problem seriously.

Even the mainstream media is taking notice. In an interview that aired June 8 on “Today,” NBC News anchor Lester Holt pointedly asked Ms. Harris about that.

Amid her whirlwind visit to Guatemala and Mexico on June 7 and 8, Ms. Harris was asked why she still hadn’t been to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Do you have any plans to visit the border?” Mr. Holt asked.

“At some point, you know, we’re going to the border,” Ms. Harris replied, clearly taken aback by the non-softball questioning. “We’ve been to the border. So, this whole thing about the border: We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border.”

To his credit, Mr. Holt wasn’t buying it: “You haven’t been to the border.”

“And I haven’t been to Europe!” Ms. Harris exclaimed, in a non sequitur accompanied by awkward laughter and annoyance. “I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”

That’s clearly a lie. Ms. Harris is absolutely discounting the importance of the border — and, by extension, U.S. national sovereignty—by failing to travel to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and/or Yuma, Arizona, to see firsthand the massive scale of the illegal immigration problem.

It remains to be seen whether former President Donald Trump’s planned June 30 visit to the border at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s invitation will shame Ms. Harris into doing likewise.

The unwillingness of Ms. Harris (and Mr. Biden) to visit the border is understandable. Neither wants to witness the havoc they’ve wrought with their open-borders policies: 180,034 would-be migrants were taken into custody on the southwest border in May alone, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. That’s over 100,000 more than the 78,442 caught in January, when the two took office.

Worse, that 180,034 figure was up nearly eightfold from May 2020, when 23,237 illegals were apprehended. Remember, too: These numbers don’t include the untold thousands more who evaded capture entirely.

Ms. Harris said her talks with the presidents of Guatemala and Mexico were intended to address the so-called “root causes” of illegal immigration, with promises of hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. aid to combat the poverty, crime, and political corruption supposedly driving the mass exodus north by Central American migrants.

But as Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, rightly noted, “the root cause is in the White House.”

Mr. Biden‘s halting construction of Mr. Trump’s border wall and ending Mr. Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy for would-be asylum seekers were the political equivalent of rolling out the Welcome Wagon.

With her trip south of the border, but not to the border, Ms. Harris has shown she cannot and should not be taken seriously, least of all on the issue of curbing illegal immigration.

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