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Kamala stumbles out of the gate

Vice President Kamala Harris was decidedly underwhelming this week as she undertook her assigned task of dealing with U.S. immigration problems.

She traveled to Guatemala, home country of the majority of immigrants currently swarming U.S. borders.

“The goal of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope at home,” Harris said in a press conference with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei. “At the same time, I want to be clear to folks in the region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come.”

Not that her statement will make the least bit of difference. The U.S. has been saying “Do not come” for many years and it has fallen on deaf ears.

Then during an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that aired Tuesday, Harris was pressed about the fact that she hasn’t yet visited the US-Mexico border. “Do you have any plans to visit the border?” Holt asked. (3:55 in the video)

“I’m here in Guatemala today. At some point, you know, we are going to the border. We’ve been to the border. So this whole, this whole, this whole thing about the border. We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border.”

(There’s that conveniently confusing royal “we.” Also a pronoun that in today’s society she might want to stop using.)

Holt replied: “You haven’t been to the border.”

“I, and I haven’t been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t — I don’t understand the point that you’re making,” Harris said with a laugh. She added: “I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”

(Famous female lawyer at a loss for words?)

Apologies for the long video. It was that or a concise edit from Fox News or the New York Post, with lots of editorial comments interspersed.

I wasn’t crazy about Kamala Harris being put on the Biden ticket in the first place, and to date she has fulfilled my lowest expectations rather admirably. Cue the Picard facepalm from my previous post because it was exactly my reaction as I watched her interviews this week.

For my money, she should have stopped at the border on her way to Guatemala. (Actually, I think she should have gone to the border as soon as Biden assigned her to immigration.) Now, of course, if and when she goes, it will be perceived as simply trying to defuse all the criticism.

She had a reputation as a pretty slick lawyer in California, and I’d say, “Let’s see her talk her way out of this,” but that’s precisely what got her into this predicament.

23 Comments »

    • Biden needs better. Depressing to think she’s now in line to be first female President. She obviously has A LOT to learn. She’d better not try to keep winging it as VP. She can’t waltz around international leaders the way she did with California lawyers.

      • I couldn’t figure out why they chose her – she didn’t do well in the debates her record in CA at work wasn’t impressive and problematic. Apparently she has known Hunter Biden for a long time….and while Jamaican and a mother from India (Kamala spent a good part of childhood in Canada?), many do not know her heritage so that confused many. Sadly good people are skipped over just to give a political ticket a desired appearance.
        Apparently Dr. Jill cannot stand her – and there are some in the administration who want to discredit her and damage her so she will not be able to win a run for President. Election shuffling…meanwhile the country suffers while the elites play power games.

    • I didn’t even know her name before she jumped into the 2016 race. I think it’s pretty obvious she was chosen for reasons not entirely related to her competence.

      • She’s well known in CA. She was a DA in San Francisco, prosecutor, and got elected as a senator. She’s ambitious and a great lawyer. I’ve never been convinced she’s a good politician.

        • I was and remain unimpressed by what I read about her track record in California. I’m willing to give her a chance as VP (as if I had a choice), but her faceplant in Guatemala is going to require a lot of repair work.

  1. When I went diving in Belize about 4 years or so ago, I did a side trip to some Aztec ruins in Guatemala. First of all, crossing the border was definitely something I’ve never seen…. soldiers, dozens of them, all walking around in full fatigue with machine guns (or whatever they’re called now) slung over their shoulders. I was with a tour group so we just literally waltzed in (and out, thankfully). But they were checking most vehicles coming in and out.

    Then, there was the drive to the ruins. The poverty I saw was horrid. People living in such horrible conditions. Shacks, garbage, “tents”, children barefoot in ragged clothing playing among garbage. But there was one place I went after that which had ever worse conditions…. Honduras. I went to Roatan, Honduras, which is an island off the main coast. Went on a diving cruise so I wasn’t on the island for very long. But had a few hours to kill before we needed to board so I went for a walk. One of the locals that worked at the docks joined me for security reasons. And the rubble I saw that were considered homes was the worse than I could ever imagine. The piles of garbage that children were playing in – barefoot. I didn’t think I’d see anything worse than Guatemala, but I did. Honduras was indescribable.

    After I saw those conditions, I understand completely why parents are doing what they can do to get their children up to the US/Mexico border. Completely. And I don’t blame them one bit for it.

    • I can understand fleeing a country that’s unliveable for any number of reasons. I still can’t comprehend sending minor children alone to cross the length of Mexico, trusting them to strangers and/or coyotes. I’m not very well traveled, just three short trips to Mexico many years ago.

      • We used to go into MX all the time for dinner or shopping when in the valley or surfing on Padre Island. Much much too dangerous now. The cartels are getting rich.
        What is really a concern around Del Rio is that parents are self separating on the MX side. Handing their little tiny kids to those who are (paid or going into debt to promise payment ) supposed to get the kids across the border and shove them towards Border agents, then the adult go up stream and (pay “guides” again) cross at another location – one usually with deeper water. The reason is that kids are automatically processed and kept on the TX side; adults either get in and run/turn themselves in in the hopes they will be given a court date (and hotel room instead of bused back over the border) and allowed to stay – and even if sent to be processed in another state, advocates/fed gov. work to reunite the adults with children ( before setting court date to return for stay or go decision). TV is always showing tearful “reunions”.
        The kids are at a terrible risk – especially young girls. So many are simply abandoned in places where there is no one or border patrol – only fire ants, snakes, predator animals – no water, and lots of fear. It’s summer: 100 degrees. We need safe orderly crossings. We need a fence and entry gates -not people dying in the open or crammed into 18 wheelers with no ventilation. And they are. Promises to fix this have been made by President after President after President….

        • It’s heartbreaking. And I think it was and is absolutely scandalous to separate kids from their parents if they’ve gotten across the border together. Either keep them here together or send them back together. After all they’ve been through, we break up families? Outrageous.

          • Yep they should stay together.
            But now they are doing it themselves to work the system. Recent case of 7 yr old saying she was alone (and would be granted entry as we do not send unattended kids back). Actually as it turned out her mom was sitting next to her and claiming domestic abuse which grants automatic hotel room and court review. They were pretending not to know each other.
            They are quite willing go forward with separation.
            It’s a mess. We need a systematic entry so everyone can be honest.
            Also the local farmers wish the men who are running through the fields avoiding border patrol because they will be deported for sure (most of these have been deported before)would stop. It’s damaging crops horribly. We see helicopter footage all the time. Along with the unaccompanied groups in the airport with the signs “I do not know English. I am going to “X city” Please help me get to the correct plane.” Constantly in the airport. (Without any ID like citizens must have…and no COVID screening either…whereas Feds keep yelling all citizens must be vaccinated immediately)
            A total mess. We need to do like Australia. Better for everyone concerned: fair to citizens and new arrivals from countries all over the world. Anything is better than where they come from for some of them.

          • If you haven’t read this AP article about the kids, it will bring you to tears.
            https://www.click2houston.com/health/2021/06/14/panic-attacks-highlight-stress-at-shelters-for-migrant-kids/
            I do not trust “contractors”/Catholic charities one bit as a readily of their behavior with the kids 2 and 3 years ago locally. Terrible.
            Where are the unaccompanied kids going to go? Where are the foster homes? There’s not enough foster homes to go around for foster kids in the system who are citizens – here and in Dallas there are 10-20 sleeping nightly in CPS offices. They have to be kept with parents and the whole family kept like they were in MX previously – which deterred many from attempting to get their kids alone into they country. Or load them all up and send them home as a unit – kinder than this which must feel like abandonment. It’s almost kidnapping and dangerous. What is to become of these traumatized children. Where are the resources? How can they be expected to adapt – with COVID threat shutting schools, even that safety net is gone for them.
            Sorry for the length. But they are kids and it is so upsetting

        • No apologies needed. It’s almost incomprehensible to me that US officials are actually, deliberately, separating and keeping kids away from their parents. Kids who’ve done nothing but obey the adults in their lives, kids often too young to understand why their parents are gone, etc. Even the 7-year-old who pretended to be alone was acting on her parent’s instructions. And the Trump admin. didn’t even keep records for reuniting the families. They thought breaking up the families would deter others from coming. Obviously that didn’t work.

          I just don’t understand why we can’t find a way to manage the border properly, in an orderly and humane fashion. As you point out, we’ve had this problem for years. And yet it continues.

          “Do not come” will be just as effective as “Just say no.”

Now that I've had my say ...

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