Border hawks dismiss Kamala Harris’ immigration announcement: ‘Political stunt’

Immigration experts on Monday dismissed Vice President Kamala Harris’ plan to address the “root causes” of illegal migration by steering billions of dollars in private investment to Central America, and said that plan is just a diversion from the ongoing crisis at the border. “This is nothing more than a political stunt,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News Digital. “We cannot control what happens in other countries. We can only control what happens here, and we’re not doing that.” Harris announced that $4.2 billion in funds from private companies would be directed to Central America to promote job creation, clean energy, gender equity and other goals. The announcement is part of Harris’ effort to boost economic growth in the region in order to reduce the incentives to leave there for America. But Judd and other immigration experts said the program is ineffective, in part because it’s a long term plan that ignores the short term realities at the border. 4 MILLION BORDER ENCOUNTERS SINCE KAMALA HARRIS ASSIGNED TO ADDRESS ‘ROOT CAUSE’ OF PROBLEM Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said efforts to stabilize the Central American region have been pursued by previous administrations — including the Obama administration, when Biden was vice president — with little results. “Even if this worked, it’s a long run approach and can’t be applied to the entire planet,” Krikorian told Fox News Digital. “This has to be paired with muscular immigration control so the people leaving the land move to their own cities and not to our cities.” Stephen Miller, the former senior advisor to President Trump and current president of America First Legal, said Harris must rely on her own authority to secure the border as opposed to spending from private companies to strengthen corruption-infused nations. “Sending more money to Central America — while leaving our border wide open — means more cash is available for illegal immigrants to pay their smugglers,” Miller told Fox News Digital. “As long as the Administration continues to allow illegal immigrants to enter by the millions — from over one hundred countries — giving American cash to three nations in Central America is just a further accelerant to record illegal immigration.” KAMALA HARRIS TO AVOID THE US-MEXICO BORDER DURING VISIT TO ARIZONA Judd also noted that the Biden administration ultimately wants to eliminate the Title 42 enforcement policy that allows them to turn away migrants at the border because of the possibility of spreading the COVID pandemic. The focus on private investment in Central America, he said, is an attempt to claim more time is needed to counter increased migration. “You can invest as much as you want through private companies but if the government is corrupt it won’t matter,” Judd told Fox News Digital. “It’s not going to alleviate illegal immigration anytime soon.” The White House and Department of Homeland Security cited data last month that showed southern border encounters declined after their expanded border enforcement efforts and increased asylum opportunities for migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. “These expanded border enforcement measures are working,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “It is incomprehensible that some states who stand to benefit from these highly effective enforcement measures are seeking to block them and cause more irregular migration at our southern border.” WHITE HOUSE UNABLE TO DESCRIBE WHAT KAMALA HARRIS IS DOING ON IMMIGRATION However, southern border encounters hit an all-time high of 2.38 million in fiscal year 2022. Biden visited the southern border for the first time in January as these migrant encounters near 5 million under his administration. The president is likely to tout these renewed efforts to address the issue in the new year as he delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday. Harris was assigned the role of countering mass migration to the southern border in March 2021. She traveled to the border once that year and has yet to return. The vice president hosted 17 events on border issues from March 2021 to August 2021, according to a Los Angeles Times database of her scheduled events, but remained largely silent on the issue since. She claimed in recent months that “the border is secure.”
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