by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In just five months, it seems Vice President Kamala Harris has managed to crack the code on illegal immigration. All we have to do to ensure that Central Americans stop illegally crossing our border is to transform the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador into stable, prosperous democracies. That’s it! That’s the answer!
Harris’s office on Thursday released what it calls a “Root Causes Strategy” that lays out, in just 18 pages, what decades of policymakers and successive administrations have apparently missed: the reason so many Central Americans come to the United States illegally, it turns out, is because their countries are plagued by poverty, crime, corruption, and violence. Solve those problems and bang! — you solve illegal immigration.
But seriously, the vice president’s “root causes” document amounts to a heap of bureaucratic nonsense from an administration that has never taken illegal immigration seriously and whose own policies have turned the border crisis into a maelstrom of chaos.
It’s hard to overstate the Biden administration’s fundamental unseriousness about all this, whether it be root causes of migration or the border itself. Every step of the way, Harris has shown a mixture of dismissiveness and incuriosity in her role as Biden’s “border czar.” After a quick jaunt to Mexico and Guatemala last month, and an even more superficial stopover in El Paso (which lasted a few hours and didn’t include a visit to the physical border), Harris has now released what amounts to a list of warmed-over platitudes about creating opportunity and fighting corruption in Central America.
The “five pillars” Harris puts forward as the administration’s core strategy are exactly the kind of inept, unfocused, and often meaningless efforts that have come to nothing over the past two decades in the region. …