Politics Biden-Harris migration plan targets 'root causes' as border surge continues

11:56  02 august  2021
11:56  02 august  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Kamala Harris faces uphill climb to the presidency based on current poll numbers

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Biden says US must solve ' root causes ' of migration . The president gives no insight into tackling the border crisis. Mothers of sons killed by illegal immigrants Agnes Gibboney and Laura Wilkerson weigh in. "For that reason, our nation must consistently engage with the region to address the hardships that cause people to leave Central America and come to our border ." The vice president, in rolling out the new strategies, said that under the Biden Administration, she and the president have "restarted" U.S. engagement with Central American governments to create a "comprehensive" strategy to

Biden ’s “ border czar” last month admitted the administration has been sending “mixed messages” to migrants . Was that honest frustration part of why she announced her resignation Friday, not even three months into her tenure? Yet neither President Joe Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris , who he’s put in charge of dealing with the “ root causes ” of the migrant surge , has deigned to visit the border — or, indeed, done anything to address the crisis, including its “ root causes .” It’s clear they simply don’t care.

The White House has unveiled its plan to address the root causes of migration, a long-term strategy that involves working with the private sector and foreign governments to bolster Central American countries, but it is expected to do little to stem the immediate surge of migrants arriving at the southern border.

Kamala Harris talking on a cell phone © Provided by Washington Examiner

The five-pillar blueprint aims to improve economic prospects in the region, combat corruption, advance labor and human rights, and counter trafficking, gang, and gender-based violence. A second document, a companion to the root causes strategy, outlines its implementation goals. One senior official billed the system as “the first of its kind.”

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While speaking to reporters on Wednesday, President Biden announced that Vice President Kamala Harris will lead the administration's effort to deal with the increase in migrants coming from Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border . Video Transcript. PRESIDENT BIDEN : Also today I said when we became a team, got elected, that the vice president is going to be the last person I also look forward to working with members of the Congress who I think share our perspective on the need to address root causes for the migration that we've been seeing. And needless to say, the work will not be easy.

Last month, Vice President Kamala Harris was assigned the unenviable task of leading the Biden administration’s diplomatic efforts to work with Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to “address the root causes of migration .” These efforts are complementary to President Joe Biden ’s Matt Gaetz, for example, taking up one of the most common right-wing talking points, criticized the administration for prioritizing Central American development over increasing security measures at the border (to be clear, the Biden proposal would also direct significant funding to the border ).


In a letter, Vice President Kamala Harris detailed the administration’s plan, writing that "in Central America, the root causes of migration run deep — and migration from the region has a direct impact on the United States.”

“For that reason, our nation must consistently engage with the region to address the hardships that cause people to leave Central America and come to our border.”

The White House views corruption in Central America as a major driver of migration from the region and will use sanctions, among other tools, to press for reform.

The plan builds on principles that have been laid out before but have done little to curb migration, with any effects likely to take place in the long term.

White House details 'hard-nosed approach' to tackling root causes of migration

  White House details 'hard-nosed approach' to tackling root causes of migration The Biden administration is outlining its "hard-nosed approach" for tackling root causes of migration in Central America, but nearly two months after Vice President Kamala Harris made a trip to the region, its plan is short on new details. © Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis News/Getty Images Central American asylum seekers are detained by the the US Border Patrol after they crossed into the United States from Mexico on April 29, 2021, near Yuma, Arizona.

Harris , seated by Biden 's side, echoed the assessment. "There is no question that this is a challenging situation," she said. Harris said she planned to work with a number of stakeholders including the private sector, civil society and members of Congress who share the administration's interest in The Biden administration has been criticized for keeping reporters out of the border facilities amid complaints of poor conditions and overcrowding . White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday the administration is working "to increase transparency and provide additional access" to

Harris ’ new responsibility is similar to one Biden had while he was vice president. He visited the region several times as more migrants from the three countries began to make their way en masse to the U.S.-Mexico border . Those efforts were seen as largely unsuccessful, and the situation in the countries has grown even more precarious. The administration didn’t share details on when Harris would start conversations with leaders or when the vice president would make a trip to any of the countries. But in an interview with CBS on Wednesday, Harris said she and Biden would be headed to the border soon.

Border crossings reached a 21-year-high in June with more than 188,000 migrants apprehended — 50,000 of whom came from countries outside the Northern Triangle or Mexico, where much of the focus has been.

“The emphasis on root causes is absolutely essential and important. But it’s not going to help the administration manage what’s happening on the border today,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, the managing director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

In one 24-hour period this week, Border Patrol stopped more than 800 people in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, among them, the single largest group of people apprehended this year.

“This type of systemic change will take time to achieve, and progress will not be linear, which means in shorthand, even if we start working on this now, it’s not going to have a huge impact on migration from the region for quite a while,” Brown told the Washington Examiner.

Biden is the ‘root cause’ of the border crisis

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As the Biden administration grapples with this mounting surge , it’s also proposing a billion long-term plan to attack the root causes of migration – corruption, violence and poverty in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The initiative is as ambitious as it is familiar. After five years, the Government Accounting Office was blunt in its assessment of the projects that were mostly run by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Those reviewed by GAO achieved only 40% to 70% of their own technical targets , such as the number of police officers trained.

President Biden ’s Homeland Security secretary reiterated the plea to migrants to stay in their home country amid a surge on the border on March 21. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post). Along with the existing struggle to combat the coronavirus, immigration has emerged as one of the The situation at the border — which Biden and his advisers steadfastly refuse to call a crisis — is the result of an administration that was forewarned of the coming surge , yet still ill-prepared and lacking the capacity to deal with it. Administration officials have been plagued by muddled messaging, sometimes making

The plan is also short on details of how the administration aims to reach its goals.

“Exactly what kind of programs are we talking about? Or who are our partners? There’s no timelines. There are no deliverables,” Brown said. “It’s a high-level strategic document, so it’s meant to be a framework that guides overall U.S. engagement on these issues in the region, and that’s fine. But the next step is, ‘OK, we need to see what the implementation looks like. We need to see what specific efforts we’re going to do in light of all of these things.’”

Sequencing details for some short- and medium-term goals to build partnerships, mobilize investment, or promote reforms are helpful, Brown said. But there are other obstacles. For one, Congress will need to weigh in on funding. “They hold the purse strings,” she said.

Lawmakers in both parties have urged Biden to enforce stricter immigration rules and, with facilities overwhelmed, find a way to manage the crisis safely.

In a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, urged Biden to appoint former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, or someone like him, to a "border czar" role.

Biden's plan for immigration is as porous as the border

  Biden's plan for immigration is as porous as the border It shouldn’t be this easy for aliens we know nothing about to enter illegally and remain here unlawfully.It says, "While President Biden can implement significant parts of this strategy within his executive authority, Congress must also act." But it doesn't reflect much effort to make the plan acceptable to the Republicans - and Republican support is needed to pass the necessary legislation.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, aimed his criticism at Harris, whom the president tasked earlier this year with leading the administration’s focus on root causes.

“The Vice President’s new ‘strategy’ implies she had a strategy to begin with,” Cornyn said in a statement.

Biden in February signed an executive order calling for a strategy to manage the migration surge from the Northern Triangle region. He then put Harris at the helm.

“The root causes piece that the vice president is working on, in some respects, is the long pole in the tent — it certainly is going to be the longest-term effort,” a senior administration official said.

Harris, who met with leaders in Guatemala and Mexico last month, has faced criticism for casting her role as separate from the issues at the border, many of which are politically fraught.


Speaking to reporters this week, one administration official said the goal was not to halt arrivals altogether.

“We’re not seeking an end to migration,” this person said. “We’re seeking to change the ways in which people migrate, provide an alternative to the criminal smuggling and trafficking rings, and to give people access to opportunity and protection through legal channels, legal pathways.”

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Tags: News, White House, Biden Administration, Immigration, Kamala Harris, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Border Crisis, Foreign Policy

Original Author: Katherine Doyle

Original Location: Biden-Harris migration plan targets 'root causes' as border surge continues

EXPLAINER: How do border policies affect US infection rates? .
PHOENIX (AP) — As the delta variant fuels an increase of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., some of President Joe Biden's critics blame the surge on his border policies, which allow some migrants to enter the country to apply for asylum. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week accused Biden of “helping to facilitate” the spread of the coronavirus. Fox News host Sean Hannity referred to migrants causing “the biggest super-spreader event” and incorrectly asserted that none was being tested.But public health experts say arriving migrants are not driving the rising infections in the U.S. The main culprits are people who refuse to get vaccinated.

usr: 1
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