Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an editorial first published in late July.
As the border crisis reemerges as an issue, despite the Biden administration’s attempts to distract the public, even the liberal press is starting to wonder where Vice President Kamala Harris is. You know, the person President Joe Biden appointed as the leader on solving the border crisis, saying that “I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this.”
Harris made it clear this week why the administration is keeping her locked away in the basement. In a rare instance of her answering questions from the press, she took the opportunity to attack border agents. Not because of anything they actually did. But because of a false story circulating on Twitter that claimed border agents were whipping Haitians huddled under a bridge in Texas.
“Human beings should never be treated that way. And I’m deeply troubled about it,” Harris said. One border agent called Harris an “absolute idiot” for her comments.
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. (See the chart below.)
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.”
By June, apprehensions had already 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.”
While the media fixated on the border wall, the Trump administration 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. Biden is even 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 curiously dropped 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