U.S. faces influx of migrants, mostly from Central America, arriving at border with Mexico
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden has put Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of solving one of the biggest problems his administration has faced in its first months in office — the flood of migrants arriving at the country’s southern border.
“We now have a full team in place,” Biden said Wednesday.
“I can’t think of anyone better equipped to do this,” the president said, noting Harris’ experience as attorney general of California, a border state.
“When she speaks, she will speak for me, she doesn’t have to ask me,” Biden added. – She knows what she’s doing.”
“I gave you a tough job, and you’re smiling,” President Harris told the former senator and immigrant daughter.
Harris remarked that “the job won’t be easy,” calling the influx of immigrants at the U.S. border with Mexico “a difficult situation.”
The vice president said she wants to engage in diplomatic work with government and private sector leaders in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as working with Mexico and other hemispheric countries.
“While we are clear that people should not come to the border now, we also understand that we will enforce the law. And because we can work on multiple fronts at once, we have to look at the root causes that make people go that way,” Harris said.
The White House has recently faced increasing pressure from Republican critics and Democrats in Congress to respond to the flood of migrants from Central America moving north hundreds of miles through Mexico.
When Biden took office two months ago, he stopped construction of a border wall that former President Donald Trump supported and said his treatment of migrants would be more humane.
On Wednesday, Biden laid partial blame for the influx of immigrants on the Trump administration, saying it had withdrawn $700 million in funds intended to address the problem in the three Central American countries in question, which Biden intends to return.
But Stephen Miller, a developer of Trump’s tough immigration policies, said on Twitter that the current influx of people was a result of Biden’s White House failure.
“This whole crisis came about because of the refusal to repatriate immigrants,” the former top White House adviser said.