White House: Harris is "in charge" of the crisis at the border, but not the border part

Remember when Joe Biden announced that Kamala Harris was going to be in charge of handling the crisis at the border? Oh… excuse me. I meant the complicated situation at the border. Considering the swelling number of children and families currently being shuffled into tent cities and sports arenas or simply dumped off at Greyhound stations, it doesn’t appear that there’s a lot of “handling” going on. Jen Psaki was asked about that this week, specifically in terms of the Veep’s plans to stem the tide. As it turns out, Kamala Harris isn’t dealing with the surge of migrants at all, at least according to the White House. She’s engaging with leaders in the northern triangle countries to get at the “root cause” of illegal immigration. Or something. (Washington Examiner)

The White House reiterated on Monday that when it comes to the migrant surge at the United States-Mexico border, Vice President Kamala Harris is handling the “root causes in the region and engaging with governments directly” and is not engaged in the asylum process.

There has been “some confusion over that,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

Border security and the temporary housing of asylum-seekers remain under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services, Psaki said, adding, “This will be a diplomatic process.”

This is certainly a very different spin on things than what Joe Biden initially indicated. Nobody has been asking the White House about the root causes of mass migrations. I’m pretty sure we all have a good idea as to how and why it happens. What people wanted to know was what Uncle Joe and his colleagues plan to do about the flood of humanity crashing through our borders. But now we’re being told that the Vice President has nothing to do with that. She’ll be working on cutting deals in Guatemala and Honduras to enlist their help in convincing their people to stay home.

I’m not saying that shouldn’t be part of the larger plan. Getting some cooperation from the northern triangle countries in terms of reducing incentives for their people to leave would be of significant value. The problem is that we’ve been trying to do that for years and it really hasn’t paid off. Those governments are notoriously corrupt and any money you send them just disappears instead of making it down to street level where it might improve conditions for their citizens.

But getting back to the original topic, if Kamala Harris isn’t in charge of fixing the mess at the border, who is? According to Jen Psaki, that would be DHS and HHS. Okay… not to be a stickler for details here, but don’t those Cabinet branches report directly to Joe Biden? Arent’ they implementing his policies when deciding on a course of action? It sounds to me like Psaki is throwing Joe’s own Cabinet members under the bus.

We all know why Biden supposedly put Harris in charge of the border situation. The Democrats are desperate to make her appear presidential and in charge of things. They anticipate that she’s going to be moving into the Oval Office at some point, whether that’s via the 25th Amendment or running for a term of her own. They need to find a way to fluff up her otherwise slim resume with some executive actions and good headlines. If she manages to pull off a functional deal with some of our neighbors to the south that actually produces results, she may just get them. But they’re also obviously making sure that nobody gets to blame her for a failure to address the border crisis.