Migrant children flooding to the US apparently are being given copies of a book written by Vice President Kamala Harris, the “border czar” who has been strangely absent at the front line of the nation’s immigration crisis.
A Reuters news photo taken this week at a new shelter for unaccompanied migrant kids in Long Beach, California shows a copy of ‘Superheroes Are Everywhere’, a children’s book written by Harris and published in 2019, along with toiletries, a backpack and other supplies laying on a cot. The image spurred another round of criticism on Saturday over the vice president’s puzzling role in addressing the border crisis.
Social media users speculated about whether the Biden administration is enriching Harris by buying copies of her book – it’s currently Amazon’s No. 1 seller in children’s political biographies – and suggested that Democrats are using it to indoctrinate child immigrants upon arrival. Others mocked the idea of putting the book in welcome kits, saying it’s a cruel way to incentivize migrants to return home.
“They’re torturing the children,” said Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the conservative Media Research Center.
They're torturing the children!
— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) April 24, 2021
The book issue came to light just as Harris faced renewed criticism over failing to take an active role in helping to address the border crisis. In fact, she hasn’t even visited the border or held a press conference on the issue since being appointed as “border czar” a month ago. The administration is struggling to cope with a record influx of unaccompanied minors – brought on by Biden’s policy of letting all migrant children stay in the country.
When Harris arrived in New Hampshire on Friday to promote Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, she was met by protesters waving signs saying, “Mexico – 2,254 miles” and “Stop the illegal invasion.” The New Hampshire Republican Party tweeted that “our country would be better served with an official visit to our southern border, not a campaign trip.”
The Texas governor invited Harris to visit his state’s border with Mexico shortly after Biden appointed her to help lead the administration’s response to the crisis in late March. “Given your new role as the administration’s border czar, I urge you to visit the border to see the crisis for yourself, and I implore the Biden administration to take swift action to secure the border, crack down on human trafficking, and prevent more children from being trafficked and abused,” Abbott said in a letter to the vice president.
Harris was picked for the role just two days after being criticized for her response to a reporter who asked if she would be visiting to the border. “Um, not today,” she said, then cackled while nodding her head. “But I have before, and I’m sure I will again.” The scene came at a time when news outlets were broadcasting leaked photos showing children jammed into a shelter in conditions that Abbott called “unacceptable and inhumane.”
Poor communication may be at least partly to blame for confusion and controversy over the vice president’s role on the border. While Biden’s original announcement suggested that Harris would oversee the administration’s overall border response, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later said the vice president was heading up efforts to address “root causes” of the migration surge in the countries from which immigrants were fleeing.
Tom Pappert and Owen Shroyer discuss the new America first caucus and Kamala Harris apparently going to Guatemala.