Vice President Kamala Harris will be the White House’s point person on immigration issues at the nation’s southern border, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday, tasking her with stemming the rising tide of migrants, many of them unaccompanied children, arriving in the U.S.
“I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this,” the president told reporters at the White House.
Harris’ main focus, a senior administration official told reporters earlier Wednesday, will be two-pronged: working to slow the flow of “irregular migrants” by addressing “the root causes” that prompt them to leave their home countries as well as strengthening relationships with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries where the bulk of the migrants arriving at the U.S. border come from.
“[Harris] is going to be focused on overseeing our diplomatic efforts, working closely with these nations to look at the issues of migration and their own enforcement on their own borders,” the senior administration official said. “More broadly, though, she’s going to be working to implement a long term strategy that gets at the root causes of migration.”
As a presidential candidate, Biden proposed spending $4 billion over four years to tackle violence, climate change and government corruption in the Northern Triangle region — comprised of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.