Kamala Harris will address the Washington Conference on the Americas Monday morning from the White House, where she will hold her first public event in connection with her role as ‘border czar’.
The vice president is expected to underscore her role in addressing the “ root causes ” of migration in Northern Triangle countries, experts said of her White House speech released Monday night.
“We want to help people find hope in their homes,” Harris says, encouraging people to stay in their home countries. ‘And so we focus on tackling both the acute factors and the root causes of migration.’
“Our administration is implementing a comprehensive strategy with governments, international institutions, the private sector, foundations and civil society organizations,” she will explain. “The idea here is that our work is coordinated – and that every sector is given a role.”
Harris has held two meetings behind closed doors with outside experts and philanthropists in connection with the mass migration crisis on the southern border.
Vice President Kamala Harris will hold her first public event on Monday in connection with her new role as ‘border tsar’, 40 days after she was given the responsibility of dealing with the migration crisis.
Harris has received a lot of criticism from Republicans for not visiting the border to see the crisis for themselves, but traveling to other parts of the US to collect trillions of spending proposals.
However, she has not visited the border or has previously held public comments or events in her capacity in the five weeks since her appointment as the person responsible for the crisis.
On Monday, Harris will deliver her comments from the White House during a live-streamed event to the conference.
Republicans were very critical of Harris not visiting the border to see the humanitarian crisis for herself – and largely publicly silent about her role.
The White House has repeatedly tried to change Harris’s position, claiming it wants to help resolve situations in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to help suppress migration to the US by making situations in Central American countries more desirable.
Since being dubbed the “Border Tsar,” Harris has traveled to many places in the US except the Border, where she touted the US $ 1.9 trillion bailout plan and Biden’s proposed trillions of spending on real and “human” infrastructure development.
This has sparked even more criticism from those on the left who say she doesn’t take her role – or the crisis – seriously.
The White House says it is planning a trip for Harris to visit Guatemala and Mexico this summer, but she will not stop at the border.
This week, the government also plans to begin reuniting families separated under former President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy, which has resulted in thousands of children being separated from their families.
Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayorkas said in a phone call with reporters Sunday evening that four families of the estimated 1,000 who remain separated will be reunited this week.
Two of the four are mothers – a Mexican and a Honduran – who separated from their children in 2017, Mayorkas detailed without giving their identities.
He described the range from children from 3 years old at the time of divorce to “teenagers who have had to live without their parents during their most formative years.”
The Department of Homeland Security on Monday released photos of near-empty border facilities to show that the number of unaccompanied migrant minors in CBP custody has fallen by 88% – the majority now transferred to health and humanitarian facilities.
The same facility shown above on March 30 was overrun with unaccompanied migrant minors apprehended crossing the border with no parents or adult relatives
Republicans are also outraged by President Biden’s plan to send $ 4 billion in aid to Central American countries to address the “root causes” of mass migration.
Two top House Republicans are demanding that the Biden government hand over documents related to the plan, which would send the money to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in four years’ time.
Representatives James Comer, a senior member of the House Oversight Committee, and Jason Smith, a ranking member of the House Budget Committee, wrote to Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young calling Biden’s plan “ naive and misguided. ”
Amid a border crisis propelled by the Biden government that has successfully reversed deterrence policies, it is worrying that the government’s solution is not to restore those policies or replace them with workable solutions, but to spend more money on countries to discourage. their citizens to violate US laws, especially countries concerned about corruption, ”they wrote in the letter.
Harris’ comments Monday come because photos of border facilities released by DHS on Monday show a more optimistic view of the crisis.
The images show the storage and processing facility in McAllen, Texas, nearly empty, when photos of the same facility last month showed overcrowded cages with children almost stacked on top of each other on mats on a concrete floor covered with Mylar blankets.
Mayorkas also revealed that the number of unaccompanied minor migrants in customs and border surveillance has dropped by 88 percent from five weeks ago.
These children are likely still in federal custody, just transferred from CBP facilities to Health and Human Services facilities that are better equipped and staffed to handle matters and work towards reuniting with their families.
New figures from the weekend show that there are only 677 unaccompanied migrant minors staying in CBP facilities compared to March 28, when there were 5,767.
The CBP has managed to nearly double the speed at which it processes children and move them more quickly to shelters and emergency shelters set up by HHS.
Despite the accelerated processing, the number of illegal crossings has not slowed down.