Vice President Kamala Harris, a vociferous critic of the previous administration’s unaccompanied minor detention policies, on Tuesday avoided a question on how the administration she’s a part of is holding minor immigrants in border states.
“I haven’t been briefed on anything today about it, but I will when I get on the plane,” Harris told reporters in Denver, Colorado, when asked if she was worried about kids at the border. Harris didn’t speak to reporters for the rest of the day.
The number of illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied children, crossing America’s southern border jumped above 100,000 in February, the first full month of the President Joe Biden-Harris administration.
Harris repeatedly condemned the Trump era treatment of minor children from other countries while on the campaign trail.
“We have to stand up for our America when the Trump administration overlooks the fact that what is happening with the detention of these children by the circumstances by which they arrived is a human rights abuse being committed by the United States government,” Harris told a crowd in Florida outside a detention facility in 2019.
“We are not going to allow this to happen. Not on our watch. I will tell you: When I’m elected, the first thing I’ll do—one of the first things—is to shut down these private detention facilities,” she added.
The Biden administration is grappling with a surge in immigrants because of its rollback of Trump orders and policies, experts have told The Epoch Times. Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security secretary, said this week that illegal border crossings will hit the highest number in 20 years if the current pace continues.
The administration has opened or reopened a number of facilities in border states in a bid to deal with the surge, and reached an agreement to house immigrant teenagers in a convention center in Dallas, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to The Epoch Times.
Officials have said they’re switching the immigration system to a “more humane” version, arguing the system under Trump was too restrictive.
Biden told reporters earlier Tuesday that he has no plans to visit the border. In an interview with former Bill Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos, he said his message to potential migrants was not to come to the United States.
Both Harris and Biden are traveling this week to promote the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that was passed and signed last week.