VP Kamala Harris finally answers questions about her plans to address the immigration crisis on the southern border.
Q: Madam Vice President, will you visit the Southern Border? Do you have a trip planned or will you plan a trip in the future if the situation with migration doesn’t resolve itself?
VP KAMALA HARRIS: So, as I mentioned to the experts, the President has asked Sec. Mayorkas to address what is going on at the border, and he has been working very hard and is showing some progress because of his hard work. I have been asked to lead the issue of addressing the root causes, similar to what the then-vice president did many years ago, but I will tell you that these are not issues that are going to be addressed overnight in terms of the root causes issue.
A large part of our focus is diplomatic in terms of what we can do in a way that is about working with these countries. For example, I have talked with the president of Mexico, the president of Guatemala. — I’m probably saying too much — but we have plans in the work to go to Guatemala as soon as possible given all the restrictions in terms of COVID and things of that nature. But these are areas of focus for a very important and good reason.
We must address the symptoms and that is what is happening with the team of folks working on the border, led by Ali Mayorkas, but we also have to deal with the root causes, otherwise, we are just in a perpetual system.
Our goal is to deal with the root causes, and I’m happy, looking forward to be traveling for what will be, hopefully, my first trip to the Northern Triangle, stopping first in Mexico and then Guatemala sometime soon.
Q: Madame Vice President how do you evaluate ‘success?’ This has been a problem for many years.
VP KAMALA HARRIS: There are many metrics, and I’m happy to follow up with you after I talk to the experts also, but I agree with you. We have to agree on how we will assess our impact. But let me be clear, people who’ve been working on this for decades will tell you, it will not be obvious overnight.
The work we are going to have to do will require a commitment that is continuous, that we institutionalize with our partners and that’s the work that I’m prepared to do, which is to begin that process of meaningful work knowing that we are going to have to have a long-term strategy and it will take some time to see the benefits of that work. But it will be worth it.