June 10, 2021
By Brian Lonergan
Upon Joe Biden’s ascension to the White House in January, his media cheerleaders hyped the new power structure in the executive branch as the best of both worlds. In Biden, the story went, we had a moderate elder statesman who knows how to get things done in Washington. At his side was Kamala Harris, the future of Democratic politics and Biden’s political heir apparent. Armed with burning ambition and the ability to check off at least two intersectionality boxes, the first female vice president in U.S. history would take the old boy network by storm and usher in a new era of leadership and competence.
Like most things in this administration, however, the results have not matched the rhetoric. Nowhere is this more evident than in Harris’ performance as the administration’s immigration czar. In less than three months since getting the assignment, Harris has spent most of her time deflecting the responsibilities of the job, refusing to see the crisis at the border in person, and generally taking the path of least resistance to address a most complex situation.
To be fair to Harris, this is a job few would want. In political terms, Biden essentially handed her a steaming bag of dog excrement and asked her to make it pretty and fragrant. This is an impossible task, given the administration’s agenda to reverse every Trump-era policy that succeeded in controlling both the border and the disastrous effects of rampant illegal migration in the interior of the country.
That might be one reason that Harris’ staff reportedly “panicked” when she got the assignment. Another reason is that “fixing immigration” according to current Democratic ideology is electoral poison to someone like Harris with aspirations for higher office. Americans mostly have been appalled by the images from the crisis at the border since January. Harris is already a largely unpopular figure. Linking her name to the mess at the border could make her radioactive for 2024.
Still another reason for panic would be that Harris is completely in over her head with such a serious task. In his March announcement of the assignment, Biden spoke in vintage Biden-speak, laughably describing Harris as “the most qualified person to do it.” Really? Based on what?
During her four-year cup of coffee in the U.S. Senate, Harris was most notable for fanning the flames of the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation debacle. She also recited left-wing talking points during Senate hearings, accusing numerous Trump Administration officials of racism, and comparing Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the Ku Klux Klan. How this qualifies anyone to have authority over our nation’s monstrous immigration crisis is a mystery.
Instead of attempting to untie the Gordian Knot that this administration has created at the border, Harris has unilaterally decided to narrow the scope of her mission to something much more palatable to her: doling out hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to foreign governments. By seeking out and addressing the “root causes” of migration, Harris can avoid the messy border and look presidential while meeting with foreign heads of state.
Even this has proven to be a struggle, as seen on her recent first diplomatic trip to Guatemala. While there, President Alejandro Giammattei essentially blamed the Biden Administration for empowering human traffickers by opening the border. When NBC News anchor Lester Holt had the temerity to ask Harris why she hasn’t visited the border, she replied “And I haven’t been to Europe.” Only the most devout Biden Administration acolyte could claim the trip was a success.
Lost in the “root causes” narrative is the fact that the United States has already been giving significant foreign aid packages to the Northern Triangle countries for the last half-century. Sending more cash to the very kleptocracies responsible for the undesirable quality of life there in the first place will solve nothing.
Further, should any tangible progress come from this effort, it likely will not be evident for decades. This is a problem we need to solve now, not in some murky future. The same people who assailed George W. Bush about the folly of “nation-building” in Iraq and Afghanistan are now attempting the same thing in multiple Central American countries. Don’t expect better results.
The truth is this administration doesn’t really want to “fix immigration,” at least not in a way that most Americans would expect. Team Biden apparently is just fine with the unregulated waves of foreign arrivals, as these people will form the loyal base of a new underclass dependent on government assistance highly likely to vote Democrat once granted citizenship. In that context, Harris’ job is really more about political optics than policy solutions.
Meanwhile, the crisis at our border continues unabated. Buses and planes travel around the clock dispersing untold foreign nationals throughout the United States. It’s bad enough that this administration needlessly created this problem for no other reason than to satisfy its rabid, anti-borders Left. To assign this walking, talking embodiment of the Peter Principle to fix it is a sad farce.
Also published at: Brian Lonergan, The Sad Farce of Kamala Harris, Immigration Czar, American Greatness, June 10, 2021.
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