- Vice President Kamala Harris is facing increasing criticism over her handling of the border crisis
- The President personally appointed her as the contact person for the crisis in March 2021
- A former senior Biden administration official described Harris as “ineffective”
Vice President Kamala Harris is facing increasing criticism over her handling of the border crisis as the issue continues to weigh on President Joe Biden and his administration.
A former senior Biden administration official described Harris as “ineffective” on the issue after the president personally appointed her to respond to the crisis in March 2021.
“She was at best ineffective and at worst only sporadically engaged and it was her responsibility not to recognize that it was her responsibility.” “It’s an opportunity for her and she didn’t pick up the slack,” said the official told Axios.
Harris and former national security adviser Susan Rice also viewed each other with suspicion, according to the report, because Rice felt better informed on the matter than Harris and took the lead.
President Biden also reportedly “exploded with anger” toward his team of advisors on Air Force One during his trip to Arizona in August 2023.
He was upset when they didn’t have certain immigration data he wanted, further exacerbating growing tensions in his administration, according to Axios.
Migrants seeking asylum in the United States attempt to cross a barbed wire fence at the southern border. A border guard asks asylum-seeking migrants to line up at a makeshift campsite in the mountains
The vice president firmly refused to take responsibility for the border crisis, insisting she was only responsible for addressing the “root causes” of the migration crisis in countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Her trip to Guatemala in the summer of 2021 was widely viewed as ineffective after she told migrants not to come during a press conference and embarrassed herself in an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt.
When Holt pointed out that Harris had not personally visited the border, she replied that she had not been to Europe either, in an embarrassing exchange that went viral.
Despite Harris’ reluctance to visit the border, she ultimately made the trip after former President Donald Trump announced his own plans to visit to demonstrate his commitment to the issue.
Harris visited the border 93 days after Biden named her to lead the crisis.
The vice president is not the only Biden official trying to prevent the immigration issue from tarnishing her political image.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra continued to hesitate to address the problem from his position by failing to expand facilities to house migrant children.
Rice, who is notorious for her frequent use of profanity in the office, described Becerra as a “b***ha**,” the report continued.
Vice President Kamala Harris has sought to distance herself from the administration’s border crisis.
Harris and the White House have agreed to blame Republicans in Congress for failing to fix a “broken” immigration system as the campaign to re-elect Biden in 2024 begins in earnest.
“We’re trying to force some of the Republicans in Congress, in particular, to be part of the solution,” Harris noted in a January interview with journalist Katie Couric.
“But unfortunately we want to fix it and they want to get on with it,” she continued.
“They want a political issue to continue in November.”
House Republicans, meanwhile, plan to vote to impeach Biden’s top border guard, Alejandro Mayorkas, on Tuesday.
It is the second attempt by Republicans to bring down the official. Last week, their first attempt to oust him failed by just one vote.
Republicans say Mayorkas should be charged with high crimes and misdemeanors for failing to enforce immigration laws and lying to Congress.
Mayorkas has rejected such claims and Democrats insist he is only implementing Biden administration policies.
He also blamed the “broken system” on congressional inaction after Republicans scuttled an immigration and foreign aid deal negotiated in the Senate.
“It is certainly a crisis and we bear no responsibility for a broken system,” Mayorkas said. “And we do a tremendous amount of work in this broken system.” But fundamentally, Congress is the only one who can solve the problem.”