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Kamala Harris claims border crisis going smoothly while fundraising in ultra-rich Atlanta suburb

By Sarah May
|
May 15, 2023

Though the end of Title 42 border rules permitting swift removal of immigrants has led to an influx of arrivals at the southern border and overwhelmed processing facilities, Vice President Kamala Harris insisted that things are actually “going rather smoothly,” as Fox News reports.

Harris' off-the-cuff comments were made from a location far removed from the crisis itself, namely the Democratic Party of Georgia's spring fundraising event in the upscale Atlanta suburb of Buckhead, a function at which she did not even address the issue of immigration during her prepared speech.

“Going Rather Smoothly”

In advance of Harris' visit to the Peach State, the Georgia Republican Party issued a statement declaring, “It's deplorable that the vice president is coming to Atlanta for a fundraiser campaigning while the border crisis is overflowing and we have out-of-control inflation,” as Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB-TV reported.

When asked to respond to the state GOP's statement, Harris replied, “You know, I hear that everything in the last couple of days is going rather smoothly, given what the concerns were.”

“The bottom line, however, is that this issue of immigration falls squarely within the responsibility of the United States Congress,” Harris added, in a seeming attempt to distance herself and the administration from the controversy.

That tack from the vice president echoed comments made by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has also pointed the finger of blame at Congress for allowing a “broken immigration system” to remain in operation, as Fox News noted.

Criticism Pours in

A number of prominent Republicans took to social media to blast Harris for what they deemed to be tone deaf actions in the midst of an escalating crisis at the border.

“Collecting checks and congrats from liberal elites while border communities descend into chaos is not leadership,” tweeted former Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary, noted the terrible optics associated with the vice president's Buckhead sojourn, saying “As thousands of people flood our southern border and illegally enter the country the border czar Kamala Harris in Georgia at a DNC fundraiser.”

Piggybacking on video footage of Harris' appearance in a glitzy Georgia ballroom, conservative commentator Matt Whitlock mused, “Seems like a natural place for the border czar at a time of crisis.”

Biden Concurs

President Joe Biden appeared to share Harris' assessment of conditions at the southern border, given his Sunday response to reporters' questions on the matter, as Fox News noted separately.

Taking a break from a leisurely cycle ride near his Rehoboth Beach, Delaware beach home, Biden said with a laugh that the aftermath of Title 42's expiration was going “much better than you all expected.”

Biden was also asked whether he expected to visit the southern border in the near future, to which he replied in the negative, suggesting that to do so would “just be disruptive.”

Like Harris, Biden also placed the onus on Congress to address the situation at the border, which some – including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – predict will rapidly devolve into a true humanitarian crisis.

Conflicting Accounts

Despite the rosy pictures painted by Biden and Harris over the weekend, video footage from an El Paso, Texas Border Patrol processing center told something of a different story, as the New York Post reports.

Images shared by Republican Rep. Tony Gonzalez (TX-23) showed upwards of 750 migrants packed into one particular room designed to contain far fewer.

Gonzalez noted that the Central Processing Center handled roughly 6,000 migrants on Friday alone, despite having a maximum capacity of 1,000. “A cell that is supposed to hold 90 people was holding 400 to 500,” the congressman added.

Though reports suggest that the anticipated deluge of migrants rushing the border in anticipation of Title 42's end has not yet materialized at quite the predicted scale, many of those who have arrived have been given notices to appear in court for adjudication of their status that span upwards of 10 years into the future, according to the Washington Examiner, portending potentially limitless challenges for the already-strapped communities in which they will ultimately land.