Infighting, pointing fingers, and indecision have contributed to the Biden administration's failure to adequately police the U.S.-Mexico border, Axios reported.
Although many current and former administration officials say they believe they've done their best considering the circumstances, others told Axios they think President Joe Biden and his team have fallen short on matters within their control.
One problem that seemed to develop as the migrant crisis grew following Biden's inauguration in January 2021 was that many administration leaders "treated the issue like a hot potato because it was politically thankless," Axios reported Monday.
Sources told the outlet that no one wanted to "own" the border crisis. Also, warring ideologies inside the White House and the Democratic Party slowed decision-making.
As for Biden, the president grew more irritated as the situation at the southern border deteriorated.
"There are definite incentives … to not be the person who owns the scary issue with no solutions," one ex-official told Axios.
"If you're the person briefing the president, you get to piss him off every day."
Even NPR reported that border security has become an increasingly difficult issue for Biden, due to the record number of migrants entering the country.
With the Senate's bipartisan border security bill being a nonstarter in the House, Biden intends to blame conservatives and former President Donald Trump for the crisis continuing.
"Every day between now and November, the American people are going to know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends," Biden said, NPR reported.
However, Axios mentioned events and people within the administration that have hampered dealing with the crisis:
- A meeting aboard Air Force One in January 2023 when Biden "exploded with fury" after demanding obscure immigration data points — an example of Biden's winding process and irritability were making it more difficult to reach decisions about the border.
- Cabinet-level meetings to discuss border issues often have been attended by deputies rather than the agency leaders.
- Vice President Kamala Harris, whom Biden named his border czar, and her office told administration members that her responsibilities began and ended with the factors driving people to leave Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. "She's been at best ineffective, and at worst sporadically engaged and not seeing it was her responsibility. It's an opportunity for her, and she didn't fill the breach," one former administration official told Axios.
- When it came to the border, national security adviser Jake Sullivan relied on Biden's homeland security adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, who had little experience on the issue.
- Domestic policy adviser Susan Rice, coordinator of the administration's approach to the border, was seen to be needlessly combative.
- There was animosity aimed at Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra for perceived reluctance to find more space in child migrant shelters.
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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