In the months since President Joe Biden tapped his vice president to run point on the border crisis, Kamala Harris’ poll numbers have plunged as the number of illegals crossing the border swells. Then again, her boss is the one who’s willing to spend $2 billion to stop building a border wall.
At his first press conference in March, a reporter asked Biden about the surge in illegal border crossings that just happened to coincide with his getting the keys to the White House.
“The truth of the matter is: Nothing has changed,” Biden said after he overturned numerous Trump administration border-control policies. “It happens every single, solitary year: There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March.”
Biden even offered a weather-related causes why crossings jumped early in the year: “The reason they’re coming is that it’s the time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way because of the heat in the desert, number one.”
Biden then put Harris in charge of the situation, saying that “I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this.”
Since then, apprehensions of illegals at the border have climbed every month, even as the temperatures climbed. (See the nearby chart.)
As the Albuquerque Journal notes: “The number of migrant families they encountered at the border in June increased by 25% from the previous month even as summer temperatures rise in the deserts and mountain terrain of the southwestern borderlands.”
As of June, apprehensions had topped 1 million, with three months to go in the fiscal year. That’s more than double the number from all of FY 2020.
“It’s as bad as it’s been in memory,” the Center for Immigration Studies’ Todd Bensman told the Washington Times. “By every yardstick that exists, the border — and not just the border areas, but the interior areas now — are in crisis.”
The truth is that weather has nothing to do with it. Policy does.
While the media fixated on the border wall, Trump enacted several policies that were working to stanch the flood of illegals, including the “Remain in Mexico” program, under which illegals had to wait in Mexico – instead of being released into the U.S. – while their asylum claims were adjudicated. It used COVID health restrictions to immediately return illegals trying to get into the U.S. The result was a serious decline in illegal crossings last year.
Biden has been busy reversing all of these policies and more. He all but declared the border open to anyone who wanted to come in. Now we learn that he’s spending $2 billion of taxpayers money to contractors he’s ordered to stop building the border wall.
As a Republican Senate report put it: “The Biden administration’s efforts to stop border wall construction constitute significant waste of taxpayer resources. As of the drafting of this report the Biden administration has paid border wall contractors at least $2 billion and counting to not build the border wall.”
Given Biden’s actions, appointing Harris to focus on some mysterious “root causes” of the sudden flood of illegals was a joke. And a cruel one at that, played on taxpayers, on low-income workers, on law enforcement, on cities around the country, on those tempted by Biden to make the dangerous journey north. And, apparently, on Harris herself, who’s seen her approval rating drop down to 44%, according to the RealClearPolitics poll average.
Still, since Harris is putatively in charge of this border control effort, she ought to be held accountable. So what has she done?
Her trip to the border in late June – which she grudgingly made after being badgered for months – brought her nowhere near the actual border and achieved nothing. Since then, she hasn’t said a word in public about the crisis, according to a search of speeches and remarks on the White House website.
On Tuesday, the White House, not the vice president, released a “fact sheet” on Biden’s “blueprint” to deal with immigration. (The White House headline even drops Harris’ name from what is usually called the “Biden-Harris administration.”) Harris hasn’t announced any task forces, or plans, or timetables, or concrete goals. She hasn’t gone to Capitol Hill to demand action. As far as we can tell, she’s done nothing, or something very close to that.
Yet, according to Biden, nobody is better qualified for this assignment than Kamala Harris? What does it take not to be qualified?
The only thing Biden needs to do to complete this cruel farce is to stand before a “Mission Accomplished” sign at the border and say, as illegals flood by, “Kamala, you’re doing a heckuva job.” And then call a lid on the day.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board