President Joe Biden has reportedly selected Vice President Kamala Harris to spearhead efforts on the crisis at the southern border. Since his presidency began, a record number of migrants, particularly children, have crossed the US-Mexico border.
This role marks one of the first significant issues Vice President Harris is overseeing since taking office.
According to a report by ABC News, senior administration officials said Wednesday (March 24) Harris will work on two things: “stemming the flow of irregular migrants to the US” and creating a “strategic partnership” with several countries including Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala that is “based on respect and shared values, to enhance prosperity, combat current corruption, and strengthen the rule of law.”
The new role is in response to the thousands of unaccompanied minors who’ve arrived at the border, which has created a crisis especially amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to estimates by CNN, 2021 is on track to surpass the number of immigrants who came in 2019. Just last month, a little over 100,000 people were encountered at the border, marking 24,000 more people than in February of 2019.
Officials repurposed a convention center in Dallas to hold over 2,000 male migrant teenagers earlier this month in response to the influx.
Travel plans for Harris are still unconfirmed, though ABC reported the VP responded to a reporter on Monday (March 22) if she was traveling to the border: “Not today,” she said. “But I have before and I’m sure I will again.”