By Felicia J. Persaud
News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, Fl, Sat. Oct. 15, 2023: In March 2021, US Vice President Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants from the Caribbean and India, was also given the title by President Biden of what equated to immigration czar. This as Potus signed an executive order that called for the development of a “Root Causes Strategy” as it relates to immigration, particularly at the Southern Border.
At the time, Harris said the job “will not be easy, but it is important work, it is work that we demand as a people of our country.” Fast track to October 2023 and the issue has all but disappeared from the VP’s calendar.
It’s almost as if Harris no longer feels it is “important work” and has thrown in the towel or passed the baton to everyone else. These include city mayors to state governors, advocates and non-profits, and most especially to the US Department of Homeland Security secretary, Cuban-born Alejandro Mayorkas, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Google “Kamala Harris immigration” and the most recent comments on the issue from Harris you will find is from February 2023. At that time, Harris announced the launch of “the Central America Forward” event that was supposed to address “the root causes of irregular migration from the northern part of Central America.”
At that time also, US Customs and Border Protection said the total encounters at the Southwestern border was 212,266, up approximately 2% from 208,511 in January 2023. Seven months later, in August 2023, CBP’s total encounters along the Southwest border were even higher – at 232,972. So nothing has changed.
The VP was noticeably absent from a meeting in Mexico last week that was largely focused on the immigration crisis at the border, which is also greatly impacting Mexico.
That meeting instead featured Blinken, Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. The US VP flew instead to St. Louis to rally the troops attending the Democratic National Committee’s fall meeting and according to recent White House announcements, will be part of the ‘Third Investing in America Tour,” drumming up youth voters and “touting historic investments benefitting communities across the country.”
No more immigration anywhere.
Now, some wise Alec in the Biden cabinet has determined that The Biden/Harris team can win in 2024 with a new agenda: “Build The Wall.” Adopted wholesale from Donald Trump along with a spike in deportations – this time of Venezuelan immigrants.
Immigration Czar Harris still remains silent, this despite both her and then candidate Biden castigating The Donald at every turn during their run for the top post in 2020. Biden promised on the campaign trail that there would “not be another foot” built on his watch.
Harris for her part, in 2019, had criticized Trump’s proposal for a wall along the US-Mexico border as a ‘medieval vanity project.’ She also said then that “Trump’s border wall is a complete waste of taxpayer money and won’t make us any safer.”
The reversal just three years later is so shocking that even the President of Mexico was flabbergasted as well as unimpressed.
“It’s pure publicity,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a regular morning press conference, after the Biden administration announced it would build additional sections of border wall, carrying forward a signature policy of the Trump administration.
Publicity or clutching at straws? Either way Lopez Obrador is right to be stunned. So too are the administration’s supporters and base that can’t believe that Harris and Biden now find it necessary to adopt this “medieval” project as their own in order to try to stop the flow of immigrants at the border – much like they felt the need to keep Trump’s Title 42 until May 2023.
The hypocrisy is palpable as is the silence of the administration’s immigration czar. Harris’ failure to lead on this issue has left Democrats in a weakened position ahead of 2024. This past week’s policy reversals certainly will do little to help drum up their already despondent base.
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com, the Black Immigrant Daily News.