On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris continued to dodge a request by President Biden to increase the strength of border forces and migration laws in Mexico and other Latin American countries. 

On March 24, through a televised statement, President Biden directed VP Harris to get the Mexican and Central American governments to work together and block poor migrants moving towards the United States. Biden said: “The Vice President … agreed to lead our diplomatic effort and work with those nations to accept returnees and enhance migration enforcement at their borders — at their borders.”

President Biden said that Harris would work with “the countries that need help in stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border,” and added that it was a “tough job.”

On Friday, Symone Sanders, Harris’s press secretary, redefined the request.

“The president asked the vice president to take on the diplomatic effort, with Mexico and countries in the northern triangle to address the root causes of migration,” she said. “There are many reasons that move these folks to make this dangerous journey.”

“This is an amazing dismissal by a vice president of her president in a very public fashion,” said Ken Cuccinelli, who served as deputy homeland security chief under President Donald Trump. “I cannot ever remember seeing this happen before.”

He continued:

Harris’s avoidance of enforcement or any attempt to stem illegal immigration flow points out that they actually want large numbers of illegal aliens to come into the country. Their other legislative and executive actions make clear they intend to then give them amnesty and have them registered to vote and ultimately of course to vote.

According to the video of his statement, Biden asked Harris to do much more than Sanders’ claim of “take on the diplomatic effort.”

Biden said:

It’s our responsibility to deal with [the migration], humanely, and to in to stop what’s happening. So this [migration]increase has been consequential, but the Vice President has agreed …  —  and I appreciate it — agreed to lead our diplomatic effort and work with those nations to accept the returnees, and enhance migration enforcement at their borders, and their borders.

We’re already talking with Mexico about that. She’s already done that. We’re dealing with a full team, now that we have to been able to deal with problems here at home, but also to deal with it now in terms of in-countries.

And I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this than … the woman who ran the second largest Attorney General’s office in America, after the United States Attorney General in the state of California, and has done a great deal of upholding human rights but also fighting organized crime in the process.

So, it is not her full responsibility in the job, but she’s leading the effort.

I think the best thing to do is to put someone who when he or she speaks [people]don’t have to wonder about “Is that where the President is?” When she speaks, she speaks for me.. [She] doesn’t have to check with me, she knows what she’s doing, and I hope we can move this along.

So Madam Vice President, thank you. I gave you a tough job and you’re smiling.

Harris replied:

Well, thank you Mr. President and for having the confidence in me, and there’s no question that this is a challenging situation. As the President has said, there are many factors that lead [people]to leave these countries …

I look forward to engaging in diplomacy with government, with private sector, with civil society and the leaders of each in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, to strengthen democracy and the rule of law, and ensure shared prosperity in the region.

Breitbart News reported March 26:

[Sanders] said Biden had tasked the vice president with the “diplomatic efforts” to address the root causes of migration from Latin America.

Sanders said Harris had made a “number of calls” on the issue but did not plan any trips to the border “in the near future.”

“This is not work that will be addressed overnight,” Sanders said. “This is a challenging situation, as you heard the vice president and president speak to but it’s it’s diplomatic work that needs to be done and Vice President Harris. Looking forward to doing it.

She said Harris had also received a briefing on the Northern Triangle since Biden tasked her with the diplomatic efforts.

“You can expect she will be speaking with leaders from the region in the near future,” she said.

President Trump frequently participated in migration disputes during his time in office. For example, in 2019 Trump decided to ignore his pro-business advisors and threatened Mexican trade. Soon after, Mexico’s government agreed to block migrants from entering the U.S. and would also allow the U.S. to send migrants back to Mexico until their day in court. 

The “Remain in Mexico” policy significantly reduced migration because it denied migrants the jobs and wages they needed to remain in the U.S.

Trump’s homeland defense chiefs, specifically Chad Wolf, also conducted negotiations with governments south of the border. In 2020, he helped create anti-migration treaties that allowed the United States to send migrants back to Central American countries when they asked for asylum in the United States.

Biden’s administration, including homeland defense chief Alejandro Mayorkas, canceled the Remain in Mexico program and other treaties with Central American countries.