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After appearing on milk carton memes from Republicans mocking her as AWOL in being Joe Biden’s border crisis czar, Kamala Harris has dropped her crocheting, snacking, and home decor battles to bring herself out of the woodwork.
Wednesday, she held a press conference and Zoom-like roundtable on just what she plans to do about the migrant surge at the border, looking for all those “root causes.”
Here are some choice bits from the White House transcript. The first reporter’s question got right to the point:
Q Madam Vice President, will you visit the southern border. Do you have a trip planned? Will you plan one in the future if the situation with migration doesn’t resolve itself?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: So, as I mentioned to the experts, the President has asked Secretary Mayorkas to address what is going on at the border. And he has been working very hard at that, and it’s showing some progress because of his hard work. I have been asked to lead the issue of dealing with root causes in the Northern Triangle, similar to what then-Vice President did many years ago.
But I will tell you that these are issues that are not going to be addressed overnight, in terms of the root causes issue. A large part of our focus is diplomatic, in terms of what we can do, in a way that is about working with these countries.
So, for example: I have talked with the President of Mexico, the President of Guatemala. We have — well, I’m probably saying too much — we have plans in the work to go to Guatemala as soon as possible, given all of the restrictions in terms of COVID and things of that nature.
But these are areas of focus for a very important and good reason. We must address the symptoms, and that is what is happening with the team of folks who are working on the border, led by Ali Mayorkas. But we also have to deal with the root causes, otherwise we are just in a perpetual system of only dealing with the symptoms.
So, our focus is to deal with the root causes, and I’m looking forward to traveling, hopefully, as my first trip, to the Northern Triangle — stopping in Mexico and then going to Guatemala sometime soon.
No border visit — too politically hazardous to be associated with it, for sure. Let Mayorkas do that unpopular job exposing the administration’s incompetence.
But Harris’s claim that there’s nothing to learn at the border about the “root causes” of illegal migration is nonsense. On the contrary, there’s a hell of a lot to learn firsthand at the border from the actual participants about the root causes of why, exactly, they are entering the U.S. illegally in surges. In a report published yesterday, a Politico correspondent went to Tijuana; interviewed actual wannabe illegal aliens; and, sure enough, found out a lot.
Here’s Politico correspondent Jack Herrera’s nut graf and what immediately followed:
Critics on the right blame the president’s welcoming rhetoric, saying that after Donald Trump’s hard-line tack toward the border, it’s no wonder migrants are rushing in under supposedly softer leadership. But migrants themselves have a very different view: The issue isn’t Biden extending a hand; it’s that he hasn’t figured out what he wants to do — and has kept the legal pathway closed in the meantime.
Despite promising a new approach, Biden has left the effective asylum ban in place, with few exceptions. Realizing they have no prospect for legal entry into the U.S. anytime soon, many migrants like the ones here, stuck in Tijuana without a safe home to return to, are making the painful decision to try to cross the border outside the proper channels.
“We want to do this the right way,” insists Rosemeri.
Freelance Politico correspondent Jack Herrera is no right-winger; he’s a leftist, publishing some of his other items at The Nation and the even loonier TruthOut, according to his personal website. His analysis is a stretch, but his reporting is very good. He interviewed would-be illegal border crossers and from it argued that Joe Biden didn’t invite them in; he just failed to give them the convenient want-it-now entry to the U.S. they expected. Therefore, they were crossing illegally, whether we like it or not, because, well, they are entitled.
Where does that sense of entitlement to live in the U.S. come from in these surging illegal migrants? Who gives it to them? Maybe it comes from radicals in Joe’s own party? It would explain why Kamala doesn’t want to find out what she should find out of the root causes of the border surge straight from the illegals themselves. She wouldn’t be publicly comfortable with the answer. Because yes, that’s a root cause — an amazing sense of entitlement to live in the U.S. without waiting in line, let alone contributing, a “right” to partake in the life of the U.S. and all proffered benefits.
No, the border is dirty and dusty and full of political hazards with cameras as migrant surgers come in at the unguarded border under some of the most inhuman conditions. Remember the slave ships? Here’s a migrant smuggling operation posted yesterday by the Border Patrol that looks just like one. Don’t expect Kamala to get involved with learning about the root causes of why that happened. Or the child-dumping over the fence in New Mexico. Or the abandoned Nicaraguan kid left crying in the Texas desert. Or the big migrant car crashes…
Nope, she’s claiming to be Miss Diplomacy now, in something of a shift.
First, she mangles her geography, which is never a good sign in a wannabe diplomat: she declares that she’s visiting the northern triangle and specifies that as Mexico and Guatemala. Mexico isn’t a part of the northern triangle, not at all. Guatemala, meanwhile, is just one member, one of three. The other two weren’t mentioned, so no, it wasn’t the triangle.
And how’s that going to go? Well, just yesterday, Guatemala’s president joined Mexico’s in laying the blame for the surge at the feet of Joe Biden. That’s some pair of meetings she’s got ahead of her.
Here’s the other thing: the president of El Salvador, another northern triangle member, isn’t taking White House phone calls, having been insultingly snubbed in February on his trip to Washington by these same Bidenites. Good luck with that one, Kams.
Meanwhile, the leader of the third northern triangle member, the president of Honduras, is hopelessly compromised with drug entanglements, though he has his hand out. As I wrote here a couple of days ago:
Or how’s Kamala handling this bunch, from Honduras, which already has its hand out for U.S. aid to eliminate all those the “root causes” of why Hondurans can’t stand living in Honduras? They’re claiming that showering the Honduran government, (whose president has been accused by prosecutors in New York of taking big bucks from a drug dealer), will end all the “root causes” of why Hondurans want to get the hell out of Honduras. Will giving these particular foreign bureaucrats cash end all the root causes? Don’t count on Kamala to figure out any of the potential problems with showering likely corrupt governments with big U.S. bucks. Notice that nobody from Honduras, based on the reporting seen, has bothered with contacting Kamala in any case. They go where they might actually get some money, correctly reading that she’s AWOL.
So Mexico and Guatemala it is, though only one is a member of the three-nation northern triangle, but both states are on record as blaming Biden for the crisis.
Let’s go one step farther: who’s advising her, who are these experts she cites? The New York Post did some digging and provided some names — and they are doozies:
In addition to Harris and her national security advisor, Ambassador Nancy McEldowney, the White House said attendees included Dan Restrepo, a senior fellow at the Neera Tanden-run Center for American Progress; Vicki Gass, a top policy adviser for Central America at Oxfam; Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a liberal think tank; Lisa Haugaard, co-director of the Latin America Working Group; Geoff Thale, president of the Washington Office on Latin America; Carolina Herrera, a Natural Resources Defense Council manager; and Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.
Who’s Selee? Why, a leftist recently featured in Politico. What are his thoughts? Basically, that the U.S. needs to legally admit more indigent, uneducated Central American migrants:
But there’s no way you can “enforce” your way out of a recurring migration crisis.
We should have learned this by now: Every time we beef up enforcement, or do something slightly more draconian, it works for a while, and then, sooner or later, people find a way around it. Enforcement works if it pushes people into real legal [immigration] channels. But if there are no legal channels, then people will just keep finding their way around enforcement.
Who is Restrepo? The architect of one Latin American failure after another in past Democratic administrations. Here is what I wrote as an editorial writer several years ago at Investor’s Business Daily about the guy:
Restrepo is a political operative whose interests are more domestic than Latin American. As a result, he’s botched every Latin American operation he’s had his hand in, appeasing enemies and blaming the U.S.:
• Honduras: In 2009, Restrepo was behind a U.S. bid to swiftly declare Honduras’ constitutional ouster of its president “a coup” and sanctioned the country, playing into the hands of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who had attempted to make Honduras a colony.
• Cuba: Restrepo was behind loosening sanctions on Castro’s Cuba, which has emboldened the regime to act against Americans. While Castro imprisoned Alan Gross, a U.S. contractor who was distributing satellite phones to dissidents, the Obama administration said nothing.
• Colombia: Its troops captured drug “kingpin of kingpins” Walid Makled, who had extensive knowledge of Venezuelan official involvement in trafficking. U.S. attorneys wanted him extradited, but Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos said President Obama never asked. When IBD asked Restrepo whether he advised Obama to ask, Restrepo defensively said he did. But that’s at odds with what Santos said.
• Venezuela: Treasury Department officials complained Restrepo kept names of high-ranking Venezuelan officials with ties to drug dealers off its “Kingpin List,” in a naive effort to keep pressure off Chavez.
• Now Restrepo tries to pin Mexico’s drug war not on Hugo Chavez’s trafficker allies, but on gun dealers from the U.S.
It underlines that the Bidenites with Harris at the helm are not about results.
Kamala herself emphasizes as if to weasel out of this that there are no short-term answers, with the subtext that we shouldn’t expect results.
Look at her babble here about that toward the end of her no-public-video transcript:
Q Madam Vice President, how do you evaluate success? How do you evaluate success? This has been an intractable problem for years.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: There are many metrics, and I’m happy to follow up with you as we — after I talk to the experts also. But I agree with you: We have to figure out how we’re going to assess our impact.
But let me be clear — and everyone who’s been working on this, you know, for decades will tell you: It will not be obvious overnight. The work we have to do is going to require a commitment that is continuous, that we institutionalize with our partners.
And — and that’s the work that I’m prepared to do, which is to begin that process of meaningful work, knowing that we’re going to have to have a long-term strategy. And it will take some time to see the benefits of that work, but it will be worth it.
She noted earlier that she was given the job same as Joe Biden got from President Obama earlier. A Los Angeles Times reporter noted here that Joe was ineffective at that task Kamala now has — basically a miserable failure. Kamala notes that she has the job and same approach as Old Joe, and guess what: I’ll wager she’s going to fail, too, given that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is lunacy. It likely doesn’t matter to her; she was just put into the job to take pressure off Old Joe and, as Newt Gingrich noted on Twitter, mainly because Biden knows she’ll do nothing. She likely just hopes to bore the reporters long enough to ensure that when she does fail at it same as Joe, the cameras are going to be off.