In March, as the impact of President Joe Biden’s open borders policies turned a border problem into a full-blown border crisis, the president handed his second-in-command the task of trying to convince the American public that the administration sincerely wanted to fix the mess he created.
Vice President Kamala Harris has been spectacularly unconvincing in that role. If reasserting control of our southern border actually was the objective, it could have been largely accomplished by returning to the status quo the administration inherited on Jan. 20.
Instead, Harris has focused her efforts on implementing an executive order signed by the president directing his administration come up with a strategy to address the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle nations of Central America that have been the primary sources of illegal migration in recent years.
Four months into her assignment, Harris unveiled her plan, titled, U.S. Strategies for Addressing the Root Causes in Central America. The 20-page report outlines a five-pillar strategy for convincing millions of Central Americans to remain in their own countries rather than streaming north to the United States. As outlined in a one-page White House summary, the five pillars, intended to achieve “a democratic, prosperous, and safe Central America, where people advance economically, live, work, and learn in safety and dignity, contribute to and benefit from the democratic process, have confidence in public institutions, and enjoy opportunities to create futures for themselves and their families at home,” are as follows:
- Pillar I: Addressing economic insecurity and inequality;
- Pillar II: Combating corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of law;
- Pillar III: Promoting respect for human rights, labor rights, and free press;
- Pillar IV: Countering and preventing violence, extortion, and other crimes perpetrated by criminal gangs, trafficking networks, and other organized criminal organizations; and
- Pillar V: Combating sexual, gender-based, and domestic violence.
It is a plan for which there can only be one response on the part of an American public that has grown weary of the border chaos that the Biden administration has wrought: “It took you four months to come up with this?”
All of these goals are, of course, laudable. They are also – to put it extremely mildly – utterly unrealistic. The United States, even with the assistance of Mexico, Japan and Korea, and 13 unnamed corporate partners, would take generations to end or even mitigate poverty, inequality, government corruption, violence, the nefarious power of organized crime and a host of other social and environmental ills.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the border remains out of control as unprecedented numbers of illegal aliens stream across, with no end in sight. Even as Harris goes through the charade of addressing the root causes of migration in Central America, the administration’s policies are creating root causes of innumerable new problems here at home.
Opening the floodgates to millions of migrants in search of jobs and government assistance will have the perverse effect of exacerbating economic insecurity and increasing the financial inequality of struggling Americans. While the administration seeks to advance the rule of law in Central America, the Biden administration is making a mockery of the rule of law in the United States with its blatant contempt of our immigration laws. Likewise, the very criminal cartels that the vice president seeks to counter in Central America, are growing richer, bolder and are gaining a foothold in this country as a direct consequence of the Biden administration’s policies.
Perhaps most obviously, as the nation seeks to avert a new wave of COVID, a border that is wide open to people who enter without inspection (and in some cases are found to carry the virus and are released anyway), is not only a public health menace, but could cripple our economy and health care system.
The administration’s root causes strategy is not a serious attempt to end the migration crisis that they deliberately set in motion. It’s not even a serious attempt to address growing public concerns in this country about the consequences of those policies. However, with the aid of a compliant media that is not prepared to shine a light on the absurdity of a plan to fix Central America rather than restore order to our border, the Harris plan may be all we get.
Ira Mehlman is media director at Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in Washington D.C.