Vice President Kamala Harris claimed Friday that she and President Joe Biden had achieved “extreme progress” on the border, despite the growing number of illegal crossings into the United States.
“I call it progress. We’re not exactly where we want to be yet, but we have seen extreme progress over the last few months,” Harris said during a press conference after visiting a border facility in El Paso, Texas on Friday.
When Harris first assumed leadership on the border crisis, the number of migrants detained there had reached a 15-year high, with over 173,000 migrants apprehended.
The problem only got worse.
In April, Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers encountered more than 178,000 migrants. In May, CBP encountered 180,034 people trying to enter the border — the most in a single month for the first time in 21 years.
Harris was likely speaking about alleviating the overcrowded conditions of border patrol facilities as an overwhelming number of minor migrants separated from their families were smuggled or dropped off at locations on the Southern border.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has redoubled his efforts to get child migrants out of Border Patrol detention facilities and into the custody of Health and Human Services, housing them in offsite facilities while they wait for sponsors in the United States.
Harris repeatedly stressed she was only taking a leadership role to examine the “root causes” of the migrant crisis, while Mayorkas focused on border enforcement.
“If you want to deal with the problem you can’t just deal with the symptom of the problem, you gotta figure out what caused it to happen,” she said.