Vice President Harris admitted Wednesday that the border is facing “a huge problem,” keeping in step with the White House’s repeated refusal to call the out of control surge of illegal immigration a “crisis.”
Speaking to “CBS This Morning,” the vice president made the comments after being asked about the worsening migrant crisis at the border, saying, “Well, okay, look, it’s a huge problem. I’m not gonna pretend it’s not, it’s a huge problem.
“Are we looking at overcrowding at the border, particularly these kids? Yes. Should these kids be in the custody of HHS, the Health and Human Services, instead of the Border Patrol? Yes. Should we be processing these cases faster? Yes,” she told the morning show.
“This is, however, not going to be solved overnight,” she continued.
Harris went on to reiterate that she still believed the blame for the chaos lay with former President Trump.
“There are things that we need to do, especially since there was a system in place — previously, before the last administration — to allow us to process these kids in their country of origin. That was dismantled, we have to reconstruct it. It’s not going to happen overnight.”
The Biden administration’s undoing of Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that this president is inviting them to cross the border.
Also insisting that the border was not facing a crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said earlier this month that the problems the agency faced should be blamed on the previous administration.
The data, however, overwhelmingly shows that migrants were flooding the border because they believed Biden would welcome them with open arms.
On Monday, members of the Mexican government met with White House southwest border coordinator Roberta Jacobson, alongside Juan Gonzalez, NSC senior director for the Western Hemisphere, and Ricardo Zuniga, the State Department’s newly appointed Northern Triangle special envoy.
The group, would “engage with Mexican government officials to develop an effective and humane plan of action to manage migration,” the administration said.
Harris addressed the trip during her Wednesday morning interview, saying, “We have senior administration officials right now in Mexico and Guatemala also dealing with, in addition, what needs to happen at the border. “
Asked if she planned to visit the border, the vice president appeared to mimic some of what President Biden had said earlier this week, with both noting their intention to visit “at some point.”
“At some point, absolutely we will go down to the border, and I’ve been down to the border. And our Secretary of the Homeland Security Alex Mayorkas has been down there twice, senior administration officials have been down there, and yes, we will go.”
Harris went on to say that as a new administration, they deserved time to address the crisis.
“Look, we’ve been in office less than 100 days, we’re addressing it, we’re dealing with it, but it’s going to take some time. And are we frustrated? Are you frustrated? Yes, we are.”