More than four million migrants have flocked to the southern border since Vice President Kamala Harris was assigned the task of addressing the “root cause” of the crisis nearly two years ago.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection tracked 233,000 border encounters in November, a 35% increase from when Harris was assigned her role on mass migration there in March 2021.These encounters are expected to increase after the expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era policy under President Trump that allows border agents to turn away migrants at the border.
“I don’t have anything to lay out specifically on what that work looks like,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing when asked about Harris’ role.SUPREME COURT TEMPORARILY HALTS TERMINATION OF TITLE 42, WILL HEAR CASE IN FEBRUARY
The vice president’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Encounters at the southern border hit an all-time high of 2.38 million in fiscal year 2022.
The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision Tuesday, temporarily halted the termination of Title 42, which was initially ordered by a U.S. district judge to expire Dec. 21. The White House said it would comply with the ruling and prepare for the policy’s eventual expiration.
“At the same time, we are advancing our preparations to manage the border in a secure, orderly and humane way when Title 42 eventually lifts and will continue expanding legal pathways for immigration,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
Harris traveled to the border once in 2021 but did not do so this year. She insisted in recent months “the border is secure.” She spent three days in Latin America in two trips as vice president.
Harris’ last public appearance on the topic of immigration was June 15, according to a Los Angeles Times database of her scheduled events. The database shows 20 scheduled events on immigration for the vice president, only three since Aug. 5, 2021.
Harris released a plan on addressing the border crisis in July 2021, which detailed the need to boost democracy and economic security in Central America so there is less of an incentive to leave for the U.S. illegally.
President Biden has yet to visit the border as president and said “there are more important things going on.”
There were 78,000 encounters at the southern border in January 2021 when Biden took office. The encounters jumped to 173,000 in March 2021, when Harris was assigned to find the root cause of this mass migration. Encounters hit a high that year in July at 213,000 and peaked in May 2022 at 241,000.