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White House press secretory Jen Psaki was pressed on Wednesday about Vice President Kamala Harris doing virtually nothing to remedy the border “situation” that she was assigned last month by the president to handle.
During the briefing, she was questioned specifically by Steven Nelson of the New York Post about the optics of the vice president reportedly taking the time to visit a bakery in Chicago this week but refusing to take the time to visit the border.
She was also questioned about the stunning contrast between the rhetoric of the Biden-Harris administration and the somewhat Trumpian policies of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Watch the back-and-forth exchange below:
“Vice President Harris has been put in charge of addressing the root causes of the border crisis. Last Tuesday, she spoke to Guatemala’s president, but she hasn’t visited the border or Central America or spoken to the leaders of El Salvador or Honduras. She was traveling this week, took time to visit a bakery in Chicago,” Nelson said to Psaki.
“I’m wondering is she still working on this and can you address the perception that she’s kind of quietly backing off while the Secretary Mayorkas is pursuing some Trump era policies, such as potentially building new border barriers and potentially prosecuting people who illegally cross multiple times,” he then asked.
The press secretary replied by saying Harris had been in Chicago to promote the coronavirus vaccine, not speak about the border, and that her trip to a bakery had been motivated by her desire to have “a snack.”
“I would say the Vice President was visiting Chicago actually to talk about COVID and the importance of communities getting the vaccine when it’s available and accessible to them. And so while she was there like many Americans, she got a snack. I think she’s allowed to do that,” Psaki said.
But the question might then become how many snacks does she need? During a visit last weekend to her pre-White House home in Los Angeles, she took the time to reportedly bake a whole pork roast. But for some reason she abstained from simply driving a few miles to the border to, at the very least, inspect it.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 7, 2021
The “snack” rebuttal was not well received on social media.
Kamala is worthless as Vice President
— MICHAEL DONNELL (@mikedonnell47) April 8, 2021
Wow! Really! This is not the time for a visit to Chicago! She’s deliberately avoiding the border!
— 🇺🇸👮♂️Gator Girl 🐊🏈 (@Gatorgirl6606) April 8, 2021
Yesh, let’s talk about the vaccine over a piece of chocolate cake while our southern border is being emasculated.
— Joe Flintosh (@jflintosh) April 8, 2021
No one cares about the VP having a snack. The point of the question is, since Kamala has been put in charge of the border crisis, why the hell hasn’t she been to the border?!?
She’s got time enough to go to a Chicago bakery, but not theborder??
— hillcountryraider (@hillcountryrai1) April 8, 2021
Psaki then touted an announcement from the U.S. Agency for International Development about a Disaster Assistance Response Team (Dart) that has been deployed to Southern American to address “immediate humanitarian needs.”
“This absolutely an issue that she remains committed to is in the lead on … addressing the root causes, working with them and how we can address issues like long-term food insecurity, drought, the COVID-19 pandemic, hurricanes, etc.,” she added.
The Biden administration believes resolving the border crisis requires addressing the “root causes” of illegal immigration. Yet this wasn’t the case with the Trump administration, which managed to drastically reduce border crossings by simply investing more resources into border security and threatening South American nations with tariffs.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 31, 2019
Psaki concluded her reply by saying she doesn’t “have an update” on when the vice president will visit the border.
“I’m sure it will be soon,” she said.
It’s been over two weeks since Harris was assigned to oversee the border “situation.”
Surprisingly, Mayorkas has for his part signaled that he understands — at least to some degree – how to actually resolve the crisis.
“Despite President Biden publicly trashing the hard line taken by his predecessor on immigration, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas echoed many of former President Donald Trump’s key policies during a recent behind-closed-doors meeting, vowing to stand up for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, advocate for more deportations — and even take on sanctuary cities,” according to the New York Post.
Meanwhile, Harris has displayed no such understanding of the crisis — either publicly or privately.
I spoke with President López Obrador of Mexico today to thank him for his cooperation on migration issues. I look forward to working with him to address the root causes of migration by improving conditions for people in the region, including in southern Mexico. pic.twitter.com/83VjrATnI1
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) April 7, 2021
Nor has President Joe Biden, whose own rhetoric is responsible for incentivizing much of the illegal immigration seen in recent weeks.
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