Harris on immigration policy: Have to give migrants 'hope' that 'help is on the way' if they stay in home countries

Kamala Harris.
(Image credit: Screenshot/Twitter/CNN)

Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday addressed how she's approaching immigration policy, an area President Biden has charged her with overseeing.

Immigration has been a major issue early in the Biden administration, thanks in large part to an influx of migrants from Central America at the U.S.-Mexico border, and so far polls suggest Americans aren't thrilled with how Biden has handled the situation. But Harris attempted to provide some clarity on the White House's efforts in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash that aired during the latest edition of State of the Union.

Harris explained that her perspective is that people make their way to the United States either because they're fleeing certain dangers or because they're unable to "satisfy the basic necessities of life," such as providing their family with enough food and shelter, in their home countries. "Most people don't want to leave home," she said.

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Therefore, her primary focus is to "give people some sense of hope that if they stay help is on way." Harris noted she recently convened several other key leaders in the Biden administration to draw up a multifaceted plan that includes the Commerce Department overseeing a trade mission in the Northern Triangle, the Department of Agriculture increasing resources to aid farmers in the region, and USAID boosting its disaster response efforts in the wake of devastating hurricanes.

"This is the kind of work that has to happen," Harris said, adding that she is also preparing to travel to Central America to meet with government leaders in the near future, though it sounds as if the details of the proposed trip are still in the works. Tim O'Donnell

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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.