Vice President Kamala Harris blamed the Trump administration for the Biden administration’s ongoing border crisis in a speech in El Paso, Texas, on Friday, and claimed that the Biden White House has made “extreme progress” on handling illegal immigration, despite a record-setting number of border interdictions.
Harris pointed fingers at Trump in a Friday afternoon speech to faith-based immigration organizations assisting at the border, telling activists that that “we inherited a tough situation” and touting the Biden administration’s response to the record number of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers presenting themselves at the United States-Mexico border.
“In five months we’ve made progress, but there’s still more work to be done, but we’ve made progress,” she said.
Addressing reporters, Harris added that the Biden administration Department of Homeland Security has been instrumental in the “progress” the White House claims is happening on the border.
“I commend all of them for their success they have seen thus far, I call it progress, we’re not exactly where we want to be yet, but we’ve seen extreme progress over these last few months because of his dedication and his efforts,” Harris said.
The number of illegal immigrant encounters at the border has skyrocketed in recent months. In May alone, more than Customs and Border Protection reported more than 180,000 individuals attempting to cross the United States-Mexico border.
“In May 2021, CBP encountered 180,034 persons attempting entry along the Southwest Border,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement, according to a Daily Wire report from earlier in June. “Single adults continue to make up the majority of these encounters.”
The Daily Wire added that the number “represented a staggering 674% increase vs. May of 2020 when 23,237 illegal aliens were apprehended. Last month’s numbers were the worst numbers in more than two decades.”
Harris also appeared to clarify why she and her team selected to visit El Paso, Texas, rather than cities in the Rio Grande Valley, which have been largely under siege by the Biden border crisis since the beginning of President Joe Biden’s administration. Through hints to reporters, Harris suggested that the choice of El Paso was also meant to draw attention to the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
“What is happening here in El Paso in many ways highlights many of the facets of immigration,” she told reporters.
She also “noted that El Paso was where the controversial child separation policy began,” according to Fox News.
A later report from the same network noted that Harris defended visiting El Paso by saying that “a number of Trump policies, like the Remain-in-Mexico policy and child separation policies, were implemented” there.
The Trump administration has now been out of power for nearly six months, and a new “child migrant crisis” has cropped up. As of last month, the Biden administration was still holding “tens of thousands” of unaccompanied minors in federal facilities, though many had moved out of Customs and Border Protection detention centers. Although the Biden administration cheered “massive drops” in the number of children in CBP custody, many of those children were simply transferred to HHS facilities, where thousands remain.
“The AP reported that ‘tens of thousands’ of children, ‘from toddlers to teens’ remain in U.S. custody, in a network of shelters across the country, many of which are escaping scrutiny. The shelters are, the AP noted, staffed, in some cases, by people who have escaped having to pass an FBI background check, and the children ‘aren’t guaranteed access to education, recreational opportunities, or legal counsel,” the Daily Wire reported in May.
The Daily Mail noted Monday that around 14,000 children remain in U.S. custody, down from a high of around 22,000.
In legal filings submitted last week, immigration activists noted that children in these facilities routinely complain of undercooked food and “deplorable” conditions, the Daily Wire also reported.
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Author: Emily Zanotti