United States (US) Vice President Kamala Harris is frustrated by her border role being “mischaracterized” by Republicans and some media outlets, CNN reported Tuesday.
According to the details, it is said that Harris was not in charge of stemming border crossings themselves but rather “root causes” of migration. CNN’s Natasha Bertrand said there was a “lot of confusion” around Harris’ role when President Biden put her in charge of the border crisis in March.
“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,” she said. “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.
Furthermore, Bertrand said that when Harris added immigration from Central America to her portfolio, there was some confusion over exactly what her role would be. Now, her team is looking to distance the vice president from managing the southern border crisis.
In the weeks since the President Joe Biden asked her to take charge of immigration from Central America, Harris and her staff have sought to make one thing clear: She does not manage the southern border.
Two White House officials familiar with the dynamic said Harris and her aides have emphasized internally that they want to focus on conditions in Central America that push migrants to the US southern border, as President Joe Biden tasked her to do.
In delegating the matter to Harris, Biden is seeking to replicate a dynamic that played out when he served as President Barack Obama’s vice president. Now Harris has decided that she’s just not going to do it. Here is Natasha Bertrand pitching Harris’s reasoning on CNN.
Harris, thought to be a leading Democratic candidate for the 2024 presidential race should Biden not run for reelection, has not shied away from the tough assignment and is engaged and dedicated to her new role, sources told CNN.
Harris has stressed that her role is to address the “root causes” of migration beginning in the Northern Triangle countries and Mexico, rather than the “symptoms” of it manifesting at the border, which are being addressed by the Homeland Security secretary. Without a diplomatic push in those countries, “we are just in a perpetual system of only dealing with the symptoms,” she said in April.
Harris’ meetings also indicate where her focus has been. Immigration advocates and regional experts who have participated in roundtables with the vice president describe Harris asking detailed questions on a variety of issues, like agricultural science and water irrigation strategies to tackle food insecurity and infrastructure needs.