Kamala's neglect of the border crisis is her greatest failure
Less than a year into her term, Kamala Harris has become one of the most unpopular vice presidents in American history, and her status as the Democrat party's presumptive 2024 presidential nominee is in peril for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons Harris is in trouble is her gross neglect of the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Harris was assigned the role of border czar for the Biden administration earlier this year but has appeared apathetic and dismissive toward that role. The latest example of her lackadaisical attitude toward the border came earlier this month, when President Alejandro Giammattei, of Guatemala, said that he had not spoken with Harris since her visit to Guatemala City in June.
"We had many conversations with your ambassador, but [between] my presidency and the White House, no," Giammattei said. "I spoke once to Joe Biden because I introduced myself. Then we had the visit of Vice President Harris. On matters of state and migration, we had [Homeland Security secretary] Mr. Alejandro Mayorkas [in July]. Aside from that direct communication, no, we have not had it."
Giammattei's comments appear to undercut Harris's promise to work with leaders across Central and South America to discover and confront the "root causes" of illegal immigration. I've written before about how unserious and unrealistic the Biden-Harris immigration plan is, but this administration appears incapable of keeping even its most basic promises.
The only action to date this administration has taken to address the "root causes" of illegal immigration is to raise money from private groups to give to governments in countries that aliens are fleeing. Harris recently announced that she had raised $1.2 trillion from corporations across the globe to invest in Central American countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and others.
Harris said earlier this year that she was courting private corporations to invest in these countries, and she successfully secured investments from companies including Microsoft, Nestlé, MasterCard, and PepsiCo, among others. While Harris and the White House will probably tout these investments as evidence that they are addressing the border crisis, it is unlikely these investments will make a significant difference in the lives of the people living in these countries. Even if these investments help a little bit in the long term, they certainly won't do anything to stop the carnage happening now at our border.
These are poor countries, and most of the people fleeing these countries are not fleeing persecution, but fleeing poor economic circumstances. These investments will not provide any immediate economic relief to these migrants, and therefore will provide no immediate relief to Americans who are suffering from the consequences of the border crisis. The vast majority of illegal aliens coming into the U.S. are economic migrants, who are abusing the asylum process in order to access opportunities available only in the United States.
While anti-borders advocates often suggest that illegal aliens are fleeing persecution, the fact that Harris and the White House are prioritizing economic relief suggests that they understand most asylum claims are bogus even if they will never admit it publicly.
One of the reasons these countries are so poor is that they have a history of corruption and mismanaging their nations' money. In fact, Giammattei is currently under investigation for allegedly accepting bribes and he's far from the craziest or most crooked leader in the region. If Harris wants her strategy to actually have a chance of succeeding, she needs to be coordinating with leaders in these countries to make sure the money being invested is not squandered or used to enrich the ruling classes in these countries. But Harris reportedly has not spoken with Giammattei in six months, which suggests that she has no interest in actually making her "root causes" strategy work. So what does Kamala Harris do, exactly?
It appears that Harris's role is to make it look as if the Biden administration is taking the illegal immigration crisis seriously, without actually taking the steps necessary to stop it. Biden, Harris, and other figures inside the administration want to eliminate our borders, but they understand that the vast majority of Americans do not. So they have to look as though they are taking the crisis seriously while they are actually making it worse. The Biden administration's goal is to import future Democratic voters. Harris's role as border czar appears to be to divert as much attention away from this reality as possible.
Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
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