Perspectives: Kamala Harris Criticized for Handling of Immigration

Headline Roundup June 9th, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris received criticism from fellow Democrats and human rights groups after she told potential migrants "do not come" at a press conference with the president of Guatemala during her first international trip since taking office. On Tuesday, when NBC's Lester Holt asked Harris, who was tasked by President Joe Biden with handling immigration, why she hasn't visited the border yet, Harris said, "At some point, you know, we are going to the border," Harris. "We've been to the border." When Holt replied that she hadn't been to the border, the vice president said, "and I haven't been to Europe...I don't understand the point that you're making...I'm not discounting the importance of the border." Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted Monday, "First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival. Second...We can’t help set someone’s house on fire and then blame them for fleeing." Harris has said that she will tackle the flow of migrants at the border by addressing the "root causes" in Central American countries, such as lack of economic opportunity. 

Voices from the right tended to contrast Harris' recent remarks with her past stances on immigration during her presidential campaign, and highlighted criticism from Democratic lawmakers. Some left- and center-analysts suggest that Harris is playing to voters by taking a centrist approach with her attempt to quell traffic at the border. Some left-rated outlets also highlighted quotes from asylum seekers. 

Perspectives: Kamala Harris Criticized for Handling of Immigration

From the Center
317
ANALYSIS

Two of the biggest names in the Democratic Party have split over one of the most vexing issues facing President Biden.

Vice President Harris, on her first international trip since taking office, issued a stark warning to would-be migrants from Guatemala on Monday. “Do not come, do not come,” she said at a news conference. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) swiftly branded Harris’s comments “disappointing” and pointed out that seeking asylum at the U.S. border is “a 100% legal method of arrival.”

The congresswoman from New York went on to link migration to past...

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From the Right
317
OPINION

Kamala Harris was not happy about being publicly associated with the Mexican border, and after her disastrous interview with NBC’s Lester Holt and her flailing trip to Mexico and Guatemala, we can see why she would be generally leery of public-facing responsibilities. The entire excursion was a fiasco in just about every possible way, even down to her plane having to turn around and return to Andrews Air Force Base half an hour into its flight. Harris may be comfortable as a partisan attack dog and a historic symbol, but everyone involved will...

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From the Left
317
ANALYSIS

Following four years of border crackdowns, endless legal fights and racially charged rhetoric by President Trump, immigration advocates had hopes that the new Democratic administration would bring a more compassionate and open-armed approach to immigration, particularly toward asylum seekers fleeing troubled Central America.

But when Vice President Kamala Harris gave a high-profile speech Monday in Guatemala, in which she told would-be immigrants from Central America “do not come” to the United States, her words instantly provoked ripples of anger and concern among immigrant rights groups and progressives.

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