Kamala Harris blames Trump for the ‘broken’ immigration system with crossings at all-time high and says ‘we can’t just flip the switch and make it better’ as new caravan surges north
09:10 EST 18 Nov 2021 , updated 20:14 EST 18 Nov 2021
- ‘It’s not going to be over night,’ Harris said of the unusually high number of border crossers. ‘We can’t just flip a switch and make it better’
- ‘We inherited an immigration system that is deeply broken,’ she added
- Recent data shows that the US apprehended more than 1.7 million migrants along the US-Mexico border in the 2021 fiscal year
- The vice president also hit back at claims she is being misused as vice president, saying she doesn’t feel like she’s being under utilized by President Joe Biden and his team
- Her interview came amid reports of chaos in the vice president’s office and frustration among West Wing staff with her and her team
Vice President Kamala Harris blamed the Trump administration for the ‘broken’ immigration system that saw a record 128 percent rise in migrant crossings in October compared to the same time last year.
Citing the recorder number of unlawful border crossers, ABC’s George Stephanapoulos asked Harris, the president’s point person on root causes of immigration: ‘What are you doing to turn that around? How long will it take?’
‘It’s not going to be over night,’ the vice president conceded. ‘We can’t just flip a switch and make it better.’
‘We inherited an immigration system that is deeply broken,’ she added.
Meanwhile, Republicans have blamed the Biden administration for ending Trump-era border policies, including ‘Remain in Mexico,’ the public charge rule and and loosening of ICE enforcement.
The Supreme Court reinstated the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy in August, and the Biden administration made another attempt to end the rule that requires migrants to await trial in Mexico.
Harris added that migrants do not ‘want’ to leave their home country, but do so out of desperation due to dire conditions in Central and South America.
The vice president also hit back at claims she is being misused as vice president, saying she doesn’t feel like she’s being under utilized by President Joe Biden and his team.
‘No. I don’t,’ she told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired on Good Morning America Thursday morning. ‘I am very, very excited about the work that we have accomplished but I am also absolutely, absolutely clear-eyed that there is a lot more to do and we’re going to get it done.’
She rattled off a list of her accomplishments, including the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, her recent trip to France, her work with members of Congress and her presiding over the Senate as she defended her job as vice president.
Her interview came amid reports of chaos in the vice president’s office and frustration among West Wing staff with her and her team, which the White House has vigorously pushed back on, denying Harris is being sidelined
Recent data obtained by the Washington Post shows that the US apprehended more than 1.7 million migrants along the US-Mexico border in the 2021 fiscal year that ended in September, the highest number ever recorded.
+12 Vice President Kamala Harris
+12 Former President Trump
+12 Migrants sit together while waiting to board a border patrol bus after crossing the Rio Grande into the U.S. on Wednesday
+12 A border patrol officer begins processing a family after they crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S. on Wednesday in La Joya, Texas
+12 CBP encounters with illegal crossers jumped by 128% in October from the same time last year
But in October, there were 164,303 interdictions a 14 percent decrease compared to September. Border Patrol registered 192,001 encounters in September and 209,840 in August after a record-high 213,593 interdictions were reported in July, the peak of the southern border crisis facing the Biden administration.
CBP data showed southern border interdictions increased in each of former President Donald Trump’s last eight full months in office, and the crisis has unraveled in President Joe Biden’s first six full months at the White House.
Despite warnings from the Biden administration warning migrants not to come to the border, thousands have made the journey believing the current administration would treat them more kindly than the last.
Another caravan of migrants is headed toward the southern border.
Shocking photos show hordes of Central American migrants riding a tractor trailer to the US as Mexican police continue to clear migrant camps that have sprung up on the southern border.
Women climbed large tires and some young men carried no more than a backpack as part of a caravan that found momentary respite in a passing truck while walking through the state of Veracruz in southern Mexico on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden has faced questions about his border policies, and whether he should go down to see its effects for himself, as data shows that the US is continuing to detain a record number of migrants along the southern border.
Meanwhile, Biden’s approval rating remains at a low 43 percent and only 40 percent of voters believe the 78-year-old president is in good health, according to a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll.
+12 Migrants were seen crowding atop a tractor trailer headed north on Wednesday in Mexico
Migrant caravan with thousands heads northbound in Mexico
+12 The Central American travelers carrying nothing more than a bag in some instances
+12 They were photographed in the Mexican state of Veracruz, which is strongly guarded
+12 The migrants above walked in Donaji in Oaxaca state, bordering Veracruz, on Tuesday
+12 The photos were taken as the US continues to detain a record number of people at the border
In other photos, migrants are seen waking in Oaxaca state, neighboring Veracruz, a day before on Tuesday.
Recent data obtained by the Washington Post shows that the US detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the US-Mexico border between October 2020 and September 2021 – the highest number since 1986.
Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas was questioned on Harris’ role in immigration.
‘So what is she doing, exactly?’ the Missourian asked. ‘You said she’s not the borders czar. That’s not her role. We’re wrong about that. She’s not doing anything like that. She’s doing something very different, is what your testimony is, but you’re not actually consulting with her on any policy. So what is it that she’s doing, exactly?’
‘Senator, as I have repeatedly testified, she is focused on addressing the root causes of irregular migration in the context of the migration channels,’ Mayorkas responded.
‘How’s that been going?’ Hawley retorted.
‘That is a — We are advancing considerably, and in fact, I am contributing to that effort,’ said Mayorkas, who cited trips he had made to meet with officials in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and other countries.
‘And those efforts are working? That’s been successful?’ Hawley asked.
‘This is a process that takes time and delivers an enduring solution,’ Mayorkas insisted.
Speaking at a press conference touting the passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan, Biden furiously defended payments to families separated at the border under Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy.
Earlier this month, Fox News‘ David Spunt asked: ‘You said last week, that this report about migrant families at the border getting payments was garbage.’
Biden interrupted: ‘No I didn’t say that, let’s get it straight, you said everybody coming across the border gets $450,000.’
Biden then was forceful in saying he would try to get payments to those families, criticizing former President Donald Trump’s border policy.
‘If in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you coming across the border – whether it was legal or illegal.’
Raising his voice into a yell, the president continued: ‘And you lost your child, you lost your child, it’s gone, you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance,’ he said. ‘What that will be, I have no idea.’