Biden 'has made the worst choice' by putting Harris in charge of the border crisis says Arizona Gov: Administration tries to calm critics with stage managed tour of comfortable child facility

 Joe Biden has made 'about the worst possible choice' in putting Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of the border, the Republican governor of Arizona has said, as critics pointed to her previous statements as evidence of her being unfit for the role.

Biden on Wednesday announced that Harris was heading up his administration's approach to the U.S.-Mexico border, as they scrambled to get a grip on the increasingly fraught situation. 

'She's leading the effort,' he said. 'The best thing to do is put someone when he or she speaks, they don't have to wonder about is that where the president is. 


'She speaks for me. She knows what she's doing.' 

The White House on Wednesday was further facing anger at its continued refusal to allow media access to the border camps where children were being held.

The Department of Homeland Security's facilities were opened for press trips, and an MSNBC reporter, Gabe Gutierrez, spoke of smiling youngsters playing soccer, meeting with lawyers and sleeping in dormitories of four people. There are 766 children in total, he said - and 108 of them have tested positive for COVID, so are being kept in negative-pressure areas.

The busier and more concerning center, run by the Customs and Border Patrol in Donna, Texas, however, remained off limits.

Vice President Kamala Harris said there is 'no question this is a challenging situation'

Vice President Kamala Harris said there is 'no question this is a challenging situation'

President Joe Biden says Kamala Harris 'speaks for me'
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Biden asked Harris to work to stem a 'serious spike' in immigration at the border

Biden asked Harris to work to stem a 'serious spike' in immigration at the border

Gabe Gutierrez from MSNBC was allowed to enter the Carrizo Springs site, but not Donna

Gabe Gutierrez from MSNBC was allowed to enter the Carrizo Springs site, but not Donna

Intensive care tents seen at Carrizo Springs' Influx Care Facility for unaccompanied children

Intensive care tents seen at Carrizo Springs' Influx Care Facility for unaccompanied children

The Biden administration allowed a photographer into the Carrizo Springs camp for children

The Biden administration allowed a photographer into the Carrizo Springs camp for children

Bright, clean classrooms at Carrizo Springs are very different to overcrowded Donna camp

Bright, clean classrooms at Carrizo Springs are very different to overcrowded Donna camp

Unaccompanied migrant children were housed in dormitories of four people

Unaccompanied migrant children were housed in dormitories of four people

The reporters taken around the Carrizo Springs facility were shown children playing soccer

The reporters taken around the Carrizo Springs facility were shown children playing soccer

'The White House hand-picked a TV crew to accompany their trip to the Carrizo Springs, NOT the Donna facility,' said Ted Cruz, the Texas senator.

'That's not transparency.

'True transparency would be to open the Donna facility to press that's at 1,556% capacity when 18 Senators go there Friday.'

Cruz said the children at the CBP facility were 'hungry, have only showered once in 7 days, were forced to sleep on the floor, and haven't seen sunlight in days.'

He added: 'If the Biden admin was truly committed to being transparent about the crisis on the border, they would grant media access to the Donna facility.' 

And critics of Harris, who was California's attorney general before she became a senator, were swift to voice their concern.

Piles of clean clothing were shown to the press at Carrizo Springs migrant center in Texas

Piles of clean clothing were shown to the press at Carrizo Springs migrant center in Texas

The U.S. government was determined on Wednesday to show the children were well cared for

The U.S. government was determined on Wednesday to show the children were well cared for

Reporters were shown children playing basketball as migration staff looked on on Tuesday

Reporters were shown children playing basketball as migration staff looked on on Tuesday

Ducey says Harris is the 'worst choice' to lead border security
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'I have been informed that Vice President Kamala Harris has been put in charge of border security,' said Doug Ducey, the Republican governor of Arizona, which has 370 miles of border with Mexico.

'She's about the worst possible choice that one could make.

'In no point in her career has she given any indication that she considers the border a problem or a serious threat.'

Other critics of Harris pointed out her previous policies.

Josh Hawley, a hardline Republican senator from Missouri, tweeted: 'This is the person Joe Biden is putting in charge of the border - an advocate for decriminalizing illegal border crossing.'

Kamala Harris asks if ICE is administering power on immigrants
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He was referencing how, during a Democratic primary debate in June 2019, she was among those who raised their hands when asked if they were in favor of decriminalizing border crossings.

When Megan McCain asked her about it on The View, Harris denied it, though she still said the law shouldn't be criminally enforced.

'I would not make it a crime punishable by jail. It should be a civil enforcement issue but not a criminal enforcement issue,' she said.

The year before, as a senator, she had sparked uproar by asking the former Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) acting director, Ronald Vitiello, whether he understood people who compared ICE to the KKK.

'Are you aware of the perception of many about how the power and the discretion at ICE is being used to enforce the laws and do you see any parallels [with the KKK]?,' she said.

'Are you aware that there is a perception that ICE is administering its power in a way that is causing fear and intimidation, particularly among immigrants and specifically among immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America?'

John Cooper, a spokesman for the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, tweeted: 'VP @KamalaHarris was just named the point person to lead the Biden administration's response to the border crisis it has created.

'Let's take a walk down memory lane and look at some of her recent statements about the border, kids in cages, and more!'

He referenced her previous comparison between the KKK and ICE, and her promise that children would not be kept 'in cages'.

He pointed out that she said child migrants should not be 'treated like criminals', yet her administration was holding thousands.


He also noted her criticism of 'human rights abuses' at the border under the Trump administration, and accused the Biden-Harris administration of doing little better.

'These are just some of the things Vice Pres. Harris has said about the border. Some are extreme positions, like bragging about making her state a sanctuary state,' he said.

'Others show her political opportunism.

'She is unfit to be handling any response to this border crisis.'

Biden, announcing Harris' new role, admitted there was a 'serious spike' in immigration at the border.

The president announced his decision on Wednesday in a meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the situation at the border.

Biden announced he has asked Harris 'to lead our efforts' with Mexico and other nations that need help in 'stemming' immigration. 

He described her as the most qualified person for the job, pointing to her work as state attorney general of California

It is the first time Biden has put his vice president in charge of a specific issue and, in choosing the person he calls the last in the room, Biden indicated how important an issue the border has become.

'I've asked her, the VP today because she's most qualified person to do it to lead our efforts with Mexico and the northern triangle and the countries that need help in stemming the movement of so many folks stemming migration to our southern border,' he said.

'She's most qualified person to do it to lead our efforts,' he said. 

President Biden and Vice President Harris met with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas - along with other officials - on the situation at the border

President Biden and Vice President Harris met with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas - along with other officials - on the situation at the border


The administration has been struggling with a surge in migration at the U.S.-Mexico border but refuses to call the situation a 'crisis' even as photos show children being held in crowded conditions in temporary shelters. 

Biden spoke of 'serious spikes' in people heading to southern border, saying it went back to the Trump administration.

'What happened was we found that there were serious spike in the number of people heading to the southern border,' he said. 

'They were coming north and we did nothing to do much about it. There's no surge we're dealing with now started with the last administration. It's our responsibility to deal with it humanely and to stop what's happening. This increase has been consequential but the vice president agreed among other things and I appreciate it,' he said.  

He told Harris: 'I gave you a tough job and you're smiling. There's no better one to take over try to organize this.'

Harris said there is 'no question this is a challenging situation.'

'The work will not be easy,' she noted. 'But it is important work.' 

She said she will work on diplomatic efforts, including with Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, to help stem the tide of migrants. 

Harris also spoke of the importance of combating the factors that drove the migration - such as the persistent scourge of gang violence - in the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

'As the president said, there are many factors to lead these countries and while we are clear that people should not come to the border now, we also understand that we will enforce the law and that we also because we can chew gum and walk at the same time. Let's address the root causes that cause people to make the trek,' she said.

In handing over the matter to Harris, Biden is seeking to replicate what he experienced as Barack Obama's vice president. Obama tapped Biden early in his first term to tackle one of the administration's most important issues: the White House effort to draw down U.S. troops in the intractable war in Iraq. 

More than 16,000 migrant children are currently in U.S. custody amid a surge of border crossings. The administration is on track to open six more emergency shelters to handle the influx. 

President Joe Biden acknowledged the 'serious spikes' in people heading to southern border

President Joe Biden acknowledged the 'serious spikes' in people heading to southern border


Images from the shelters show children lying packed in like sardines side by side on mattresses on the floors inside a makeshift facility in Donna, Texas

Images from the shelters show children lying packed in like sardines side by side on mattresses on the floors inside a makeshift facility in Donna, Texas

Migrant families pray near the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico on Wednesday

Migrant families pray near the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico on Wednesday

Migrants bow their heads in prayer on the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana on Wednesday

Migrants bow their heads in prayer on the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana on Wednesday

Migrants are seen crossing over from Tijuana to San Diego on Tuesday

Migrants are seen crossing over from Tijuana to San Diego on Tuesday

A child in Tijuana shows off her U.S. passport at the San Ysidro crossing on Tuesday

A child in Tijuana shows off her U.S. passport at the San Ysidro crossing on Tuesday

Republicans have criticized Biden's handling of the situation, blaming his rollback of stricter Trump-era policies for the surge. 

Biden has said he will visit the border at some point, which Harris echoed in an interview with CBS News on Wednesday morning.

'At some point -- absolutely we will go down to the border,' she said. 

The Biden administration has blamed the situation - which they refuse to call a crisis - on the previous Trump administration policies.

'There are things that we need to do, especially since there was a system in place previously, before last administration, to allow us to process these kids in their country of origin. That was dismantled. We've to reconstruct it. It's not going to happen overnight,' Harris told CBS'  'This Morning.'

'We are addressing it. We're dealing with it. But it's going to take some time,' she said. 'And are we frustrated? Are you frustrated? Yes. We are.'

Harris' new portfolio comes as a delegation of White House officials and members of Congress headed to the border on Wednesday to tour a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, being used to house migrant children.

More than 750 teenagers are being held at the facility, which is run by the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The administration is on track to open six more emergency shelters to handle the influx. 

A group of migrants follows an official through a neighborhood to an intake area after turning themselves in upon crossing the U.S.-Mexico border

A group of migrants follows an official through a neighborhood to an intake area after turning themselves in upon crossing the U.S.-Mexico border

A child rests its head on a table as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer processes migrants after they crossed into the U.S., early Wednesday

A child rests its head on a table as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer processes migrants after they crossed into the U.S., early Wednesday

The White House announced that one network pooled camera will be allowed inside during the tour and the footage will be shared once the tour concludes.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked why the media were being sent to an 'aspirational' facility instead of one of the crowded CBP shelters.

'We're also open to providing access there, and this is just the first step in the process of providing greater access to the media to decision,' she said at her daily press briefing.

'I would say we all agree that that the Border Patrol facilities are not places where children should be, they are children should be moving more quickly through those facilities that is what our policy central focus is right now,' she added. 

The children are supposed to be held from three days by border patrol and then transferred to more permanent facilities run by DHS. 

But the overcrowded conditions have delayed transfers with about 5,000 children estimated to be in border patrol custody. 

Psaki said the administration is working on more press access.

'Our balance is, of course, privacy as you all know. It is also that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and that you know these facilities, of course, can't become forums for media access all day long every day. 

'I think we all agree on that balance but we will continue to look for ways to increase transparency and provide additional access,' she said.


Biden 'has made the worst choice' by putting Harris in charge of the border crisis says Arizona Gov: Administration tries to calm critics with stage managed tour of comfortable child facility Biden 'has made the worst choice' by putting Harris in charge of the border crisis says Arizona Gov: Administration tries to calm critics with stage managed tour of comfortable child facility Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:26 Rating: 5

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