Though Vice President Kamala Harris was recently named as the Biden Administration's point person for immigration issues at the southern border, that apparently doesn't entail stopping the current surge of illegal immigrants or managing the detention of thousands of unaccompanied minors currently crowded in border facilities.
And don't expect to see Harris in the region anytime soon.
"The Vice President is not doing the border," spokeswoman Symone Sanders told reporters on Friday. "The president asked the vice president to take on the diplomatic efforts with Mexico and … the Northern Triangle to address the root causes of migration."
Sanders added: "You can expect she will be speaking with leaders from the region in the near future."
Harris was vague when she was asked last week about any intended trip to the border.
"At some point, absolutely, we will go down to the border, and I've been down to the border and our secretary of the Homeland Security Alex Mayorkas has been down there twice," Harris told CBS News on Wednesday. "Senior administration officials have been down there and yes, we will go.
"But the reality also is that in addition to the border, we also need to deal with the root causes. We need to deal with what's happening in the Northern Triangle and address it in a way that is about not only diplomacy but bringing our allies together. Dealing with what we need to do around aid in a way that is about developing those countries so that we also deal with the cause of why people are coming into our country."
A spokesperson for the Office of Personnel Management said that the agency sent memos to the heads of other departments asking for “volunteer deployments” that could last up to 120 days.
"We are actively working to screen, process and deploy these volunteers while continuing our recruitment efforts and exploration of other avenues to bolster staff resources at the border," the spokesperson said.
President Joe Biden announced last week that Harris would oversee immigration issues, telling reporters: "I asked her, the VP, today, because she's the most qualified person to do it, to lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle, and the countries that can help, need help in stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border.”
Biden added: "I said when we became a team and got elected that the vice president was going to be the last person in the room. She doesn't realize that means she gets every assignment."
Harris said she hoped to stabilize the border as well as solve some of the reasons that motivate people to illegally cross into the U.S.
"There is no question that this is a challenging situation," Harris said. "While we are clear that people should not come to the border now, we also understand that we will enforce the law and that we also — because we can chew gum and walk at the same time — must address the root causes that cause people to make the trek, as the President has described, to come here."
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