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President Joe Biden’s coordinator on the southern border will leave the White House by the end of April, according to national security advisor Jake Sullivan. Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobsen had agreed to serve during the first 100 days of the Biden administration and made “an invaluable contribution,” according to Sullivan.
Sullivan didn’t say exactly what that “contribution” was, but given the chaos at the border, it didn’t appear to be that valuable.
But America’s borders are in good hands. Vice President Kamala Harris is on the job — if we could find her.
Harris has visited Connecticut, California, and Chicago since her role was unveiled on March 24 amid mounting pressure on the White House to take action. Migrants have surged over the border by the thousands since Biden took office, and the administration was unprepared to house the record number of unaccompanied minors who have crossed into the United States this year.
But Harris has yet to unveil any plans to travel to the border, even as the situation worsens. More than 172,000 people tried to cross the border illegally in March alone — setting a 15-year record.
She hasn’t been to the border, but she visited a bakery in Chicago. If you’re interested, she had a slice of German chocolate cake. Sen. Ted Cruz wondered about her commitment to the issue.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 8, 2021
In truth, Harris doesn’t want to touch the border issue with a ten-foot pole. If, as expected, she runs for president in 2024, the border will be an anchor around the neck of anyone who had anything to do with this fiasco. Harris is relieved people are talking about her eating a slice of German chocolate cake and not the border crisis.
The White House, on Wednesday, pointed to a statement from Harris’s office this week that applauded the deployment of increased humanitarian assistance to Northern Triangle countries. Harris’s spokeswoman, Symone Sanders, said Harris “welcomes” an announcement from the U.S. Agency for International Development that it had sent a Disaster Assistance Response Team to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to ramp up emergency food aid and job programs among other forms of assistance.
Psaki said Wednesday that the White House had no update on when Harris might travel to the border or to any of the countries with which she is tasked to negotiate.
“I’m sure it will be soon,” Psaki said of the potential travel.
The White House is also planning on making cash transfer payments to the Northern Triangle countries to address the economic woes of those nations. This would be on top of the $4 billion Biden is sending over the next four years. The U.S. will also send a large number of vaccine doses.
RNC Chair Rona McDaniel had it about right: “Harris hasn’t even taken the time to hold a press conference since allegedly taking charge of the border situation,” McDaniel wrote. “She is working harder on avoiding accountability for the crisis than she is on trying to fix it. ”
The fact is, Joe Biden doesn’t know how to manage this crisis. He’s stuck between being the “anti-Trump” and the kindly Uncle Joe who welcomes all newcomers with open arms. He can’t employ any of Trump’s policies that actually worked and he can’t exactly welcome one or two million migrants who will come to the U.S. border this year.
His policy on the ground is muddled and inconsistent. And it’s encouraging even more people to come.