EDITORIAL: Kamala Harris steers America wrong on immigration

Getting there can be challenging, especially when anywhere is less dreadful than “there.” Fear of what she would find made Vice President Kamala Harris three months late for an official visit to the southern U.S. border. When she finally agreed to go, aversion to rolling up her sleeves sent her to the wrong place. All told, she is on course for a wayward solution to the nation’s immigration crisis.

Ms. Harris‘ giggles in response to questions about her border visit intentions ended abruptly last week when former President Donald Trump scheduled his own trip to the U.S.-Mexico border for Wednesday. With sudden alacrity, the Biden border czar jetted south from Washington on Friday, purportedly to take a ground-level gander at an unprecedented border surge she had previously handled while overflying the region at 30,000 feet.

Disturbingly, she landed hundreds of miles from the illegal immigration hotspot in the Rio Grande Valley. Touching down in El Paso instead, she met with government employees tasked with administering the shelters housing the thousands of border-crossers, enticed to emigrate by Biden-ordered policies. “My trip to Guatemala and Mexico was about addressing the root causes,” she explained during a pre-departure press conference.” The stories that I heard and the interactions we had today reinforce the nature of those root causes.”

If her interest in “root causes” is genuine, she would have skipped her recent journey to consult with leaders of Central American nations, the homelands of most northbound sojourners, as well as her excursion to El Paso. “But she is just checking the box by going to El Paso,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat and critic of Team Biden’s handling of immigration.

Instead, Ms. Harris would have flown to the Rio Grande region, where Biden administration open-border policies have led to a flood of immigrant river-crossings. The broad waterway to the southeast of El Paso defines the sector where the U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended 272,000 illegal entrants thus far in fiscal 2021, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. In contrast, the El Paso zone has stopped fewer than 114,000.

The vice president’s itinerary was likely guided by the necessity of a visit, but without the gut-wrenching experience of witnessing an undeniable humanitarian crisis. Apprehensions of family units or unaccompanied minors have only comprised 12 percent of El Paso’s apprehensions, meaning far less chance for the unfavorable optics of distraught children. By contrast, those immigrant groups in the Rio Grande region account for nearly 52 percent.

Still, Ms. Harris couldn’t avoid the sight of El Paso demonstrators greeting her with signs reading “Harris for Human Trafficking,” and “Kamala, You Know Trump Won.” The unnerving heckling comes on the heels of a McLaughlin & Associates survey showing her losing 49-45 percent to Mr. Trump in a presidential preference match-up.

Ms. Harris is presiding over destructive policies that reject common-sense border security. Americans deserve better than the dismal leadership of “Wrong-way Harris.”

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