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Where's Kamala? Biden 'border czar' absent from issue as migration surges

Harris did not visit the border until late June of 2021.

Published: May 12, 2023 11:25pm

Updated: May 12, 2023 11:26pm

Vice President Kamala Harris, named by President Joe Biden in 2021 to handle immigration issues, has remained relatively absent from public view amid national uproar over an ongoing surge in migration at the southern border with Mexico.

On Friday, the Title 42 order expired, ending the ability of border authorities to swiftly deport migrants should they hail from nations known to host a communicable disease.

Tens of thousands of would-be asylum seekers have flocked to the southern border this week in anticipation of the order's expiration, prompting renewed scrutiny of the administration's approach.

Harris, this week, has largely refrained from public comment on the matter.

Her personal Twitter account has made 18 posts, including retweets, since May 7, though not one mentions the border, illegal migration, Title 42, or even Latin America. Likewise, her official account has posted 26 times this week and none have mentioned the situation.

In March of 2021, Biden announced that Harris would tackle the migration surge, though Symone Sanders, then-chief vice president spokeswoman, the same week insisted Harris was "not doing the border" and had been tasked to "take on the diplomatic effort, with Mexico and countries in the northern triangle to address the root causes of migration."

Harris did not visit the border until late June of that year, making a trip to El Paso, Texas, where she visited a migrant processing center and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility. The lengthy period of inaction prompted criticism from Republicans on the issue.

Two years later, the vice president appears conspicuously absent from administration efforts to address the oncoming surge.

"Ask yourself why is President Biden not here," Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday in a Twitter video from the border. "Ask yourself why is Kamala Harris not here. ... because the don't give a damn about the dead bodies."

In the days before Title 42 enforcement expired, Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas went to the White House to try to assure Americans that "the border is not open" and take reporters' questions on the matter.  

Republicans have fumed over a perceived absence of leadership from the administration on the matter for most of Biden's tenure, but such complaints have grown louder in recent months.

Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson in late March reintroduced a resolution to remove Harris from her post as "border czar" and demand that Biden appoint a new advisor on the issue.

"Kamala Harris has done nothing to 'address the root cause of migration' or stop the influx of illegal immigrants coming across our border daily," he said. "She has completely betrayed the American people by blatantly disregarding her duties as Border Czar. Enough is enough!"

Roughly 4.5 million migrants have illegally entered the U.S. since Biden took office.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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