Vice President Kamala Harris has been President Biden’s border czar for 70 days, but she hasn’t held a press conference on the border crisis yet. This comes as migrants continue to cross illegally into the United States at the Souther border in a surge.
Now, CNN is coming to her defense, claiming that her team doesn’t “own the issues at the border.”
CNN’s Natasha Bertrand appeared on “New Day” Tuesday to reportedly clear the air. According to Bertrand, Harris was never officially named the border czar, and from the beginning, her exact responsibilities weren’t made clear.
“Republicans kind of seized on that confusion, and they made it seem as though Vice President Harris was going to be the new border czar, that she was going to be responsible and be the envoy to the border, be responsible essentially for all of the problems that arise there,” Betrand said.
But, at the time, Harris’ senior advisor Symone Sanders claimed that she would be on official business regarding the border. Sanders said Harris received “extensive briefing on the northern triangle and Latin America” and would be “speaking with leaders from the region in the near future.”
Then, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced an official in-person meeting with Harris, proving that Sanders wasn’t exaggerating. The meeting will reportedly take place in Mexico this month.
“When her team saw this being mischaracterized by some media outlets and by Republicans and questions swirling about whether she herself was going to visit the border in her new capacity, they were kind of dismayed by this,” Betrand said, “because her role was always going to be focusing on these Northern Triangle countries and the root causes of this, and they saw her being linked to the border as a potentially political perilous assignment and task.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also claimed he saw no problem with Harris not visiting the border. During an earlier congressional hearing, he said that was his job and not hers.
Yet, Harris has already made strides for the border, seemingly under the guise of a border czar. After a meeting with the vice president, several major corporations announced new efforts in the Northern Triangle countries. Meanwhile, Harris still held no presser of her own to discuss her efforts as well.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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DHS Secretary Mayorkas Says We Cannot Remove ‘11 Million Undocumented Individuals’ Unlawfully in U.S.
Troubling details were unearthed during the questioning of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by the Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Grassley asked Mayorkas about a DHS memo from September 30 which reads: “The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen will not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.”
“Does that reasoning apply to the [1.2] million illegal immigrants who have received due process and been given a final order of removal by an immigration judge?” Grassley asked Mayorkas.
“We cannot remove 1.2 million individuals, nor can we remove more than 11 million undocumented individuals, individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States, who might not have final orders of removal” Mayorkas answered.
Mayorkas also stated that he had issued the due process policy after drawing on “tremendous experience not only as a member of the Department of Homeland Security but as a federal prosecutor.”
Grassley pressed Mayorkas, asking, “should any of them be removed?”
“Of course,” Mayorkas said. “I do believe that individuals who pose a public safety threat, who pose a national security threat, who pose a border security threat, should be removed, and we should be smart and effective in our use of resources, and we should focus on the well-being of our communities and prioritize individuals for removal.”
In his opening statements, Grassley addressed Mayorkas and stated, “When you allow the ACLU and open-borders immigration activists rather than career law enforcement professionals to dictate the terms of your immigration and border policies, then you shouldn’t be surprised when record-shattering numbers of people start showing up at the border to take advantage of that.”
Grassley continued, “When you run DHS like it’s an ‘Abolish ICE’ fan club, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have an illegal immigration crisis on your hands.”
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