A federal agency has not explained who provided a copy of Vice President Kamala Harris’ children’s book in a welcome kit for migrant children at a facility in Long Beach, California.
Harris’s book “Superheroes Are Everywhere” was included with clothing and hygiene items in a welcome pack given to unaccompanied migrant minors at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, Fox News reported, including a photo of a copy of the book.
The children are medically examined and given clothing, food, snacks and a place to sleep, when they arrive at the shelter, a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) statement said Thursday. The department did not respond to multiple requests for comment about who provided the welcome packs for the unaccompanied children or how Harris’s children’s book was reportedly included in one pack.
“Her focus is not on the border.” pic.twitter.com/Jp5PBt90uQ
— MRCTV (@mrctv) April 26, 2021
A Long Beach city spokesman told The Washington Post after the original story was published that only a single copy of Harris’ book was distributed after being donated by a community member.
“The book you reference is one of hundreds of books that have already been donated,” Kevin Lee said. “The book was not purchased by HHS or the City.”
Harris was reportedly unaware of the welcome packs, which are usually made and distributed by community members, a White House official told Fox News.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki did not know if Harris is earning proceeds from any copies given to migrant minors, during a White House press conference Monday.
“I have to certainly check on that. Hear it’s a good book,” Psaki said. (RELATED: Psaki: Republicans Scrutinizing Kamala Harris’ Border Absence ‘Need More To Do, I Think’)
Harris was appointed to address the surge of migrants arriving at the southern border in March, though she has not traveled to the border or held a press conference on the matter, the New York Post reported.
“Republicans are attacking you, saying you shouldn’t be in New Hampshire talking about infrastructure, you should be at the southern border talking about immigration,” a reporter with WMUR, a local ABC affiliate, asked Harris Sunday. “How do you respond to that?”
Harris told the reporter she was “not going to play political games.”
The Office of Refugee Resettlement will host 1,000 unaccompanied migrant minors at the Long Beach Emergency Intake Site until they are placed with sponsors in the interior of the U.S., according to HHS. The agency has expanded to several temporary locations to provide shelter for an increasing number of unaccompanied minors in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody.
CBP officials encountered over 172,000 migrants including a record number of unaccompanied migrant minors reaching nearly 19,000 in March, according to the agency. Over 21,900 migrant children were in HHS custody as of Monday, the agency reported.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to indicate that there was only one copy of Harris’ book and to include Lee’s statement to The Washington Post.
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