Kamala Harris’s visit to the border 93 days after she was appointed border czarina was too little, too late. The visit lasted all of four hours. Some airport layovers are longer. El Paso, the city she toured, moreover, is nearly 800 miles from the epicenter of the border crisis. The location was doubtless chosen because the administration could be certain of no unpleasant pictures in the background of drowning migrants or children being abandoned in the desert by smugglers.
The photo ops that came out of the visit won’t be enough to dampen the “criticism from Republicans who claim White House immigration policies are too lax as well as critiques from liberal advocates who argue President Joe Biden is continuing the harsh policies of his predecessor,” in an assessment by the Washington Post.
The visit got off to a less than perfect start when her bubbly host, Texas Congresswoman Victoria Escobar, began by saying, “Welcome to my home. Welcome to the new Ellis Island.”
Apart from the blatant historical inaccuracy of comparing migrants attempting to sneak across the border to immigrants who came to this country lawfully around the turn of the twentieth century, the message was the opposite of Harris’s advice for the people of Guatemala several weeks ago — “Do not come.”
When it was Harris’s turn to speak, things didn’t go much better. When asked by a reporter why felt this was the right to visit the border, her answer — that the first leg of her tip had been to investigate the causes of mass migration whereas this visit was to see the effects — fooled no one.
Harris’s trip represents strike two in the administration’s handling of the border crisis, which is very much on the minds of voters. Where will Joe Biden go from here? Stay tuned.