President Biden has tapped Vice President Harris to lead the administration’s efforts to stem the flow of migrants seeking entry to the U.S. at the southern border and to form partnerships with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries aimed at addressing the root causes of the surge in immigration.
Harris will spearhead the White House’s immigration portfolio so that Mexico and the Northern Triangle will know “there is one single figure dedicated to this effort,” a senior administration official said.
Biden announced the move on Wednesday from the White House after meeting with Harris, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and several other immigration advisers.
“I have asked her, the VP, today, because she is the most qualified person to do it, to lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle and the countries that are going to need help in stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border,” Biden said.
A White House official said Harris’s work will run along two tracks — first to address the swell of migrants at the southern border, and second to build long-term partnerships with the Central American countries the people are fleeing.
“She’ll work first on the goal of stemming the flow of irregular migrants to the U.S. … but at the same time, the real goal is to establish a strategic partnership with these countries based on respect and shared values,” the official said.