Vice President Kamala Harris, the “border czar” of the Biden administration, tasted produce at a New Jersey bakery on Friday – while other White House officials met with their Mexican counterparts in a bid to bring the current crisis of illegal immigration under control.
Harris was in Garden State promoting President Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion spending bill and pushing COVID-19 vaccinations when she made a pit stop in Newark.
The president called on Harris on March 24 to be the point of contact for the administration’s talks with Mexico and Central American countries about slowing the tide of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border.
“When she speaks, she speaks for me,” Biden said at the time. “No need to check with me. She knows what she’s doing and hopefully we can get things done.
However, with the exception of an eventful visit to Mexico and Guatemala in early June and a brief trip to El Paso at the end of the same month, Harris largely avoided the question in public – leaving the Homeland Security Secretary , Alejandro Mayorkas, the face of the administration’s immigration policies.
Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland were among the group of senior US officials led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken who met Mexican officials on Friday.
Blinken met with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador before leading the rest of the delegation in a powwow with other Mexican officials, led by Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.
Blinken, speaking at a press conference with Ebrard, called the talks “productive” and explained that the group had focused on three main issues related to the United States, Mexico and their shared border. . These issues were: The health and safety of the citizens of each country; fight against trafficking in drugs, arms and human beings; and collaborate to end money laundering and work together to investigate and prosecute organized criminal activity.
The secretary of state said he wanted the United States and Mexico to work together not only to “modernize law enforcement, but also to strengthen public health, the rule of law and economic opportunities in the world. large scale”.
The visit came as the Washington Examiner reported that US officials were tracking around 20,000 Haitian migrants who had gathered in Colombia and were reportedly preparing to rush to the border.
Even in New Jersey, Harris could not entirely escape the question of immigration.
About 30 illegal immigrants and students demonstrated outside the daycare center Harris visited in Little Falls, where she pushed the massive social spending bill backed by the White House and left-wing Democrats, NJ.com reported.
Protesters called on the vice president to support a path to citizenship in the bill. Two attempts by Senate Democrats to add such language were rejected by the House MP.
“As a critical healthcare worker during the pandemic, I put my life on the line every day to help keep a health clinic open,” said protest organizer Mariana Velasquez. “But I’m afraid of being separated from my children. New Jersey is my home.
After leaving daycare, Harris visited a COVID-19 vaccination site at Essex County College before stopping by Tonnie’s Minis Bakery at the suggestion of Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), former mayor of Newark.
According to NJ.com, Harris bought red velvet cupcakes and slices of carrot cake, pineapple and coconut cake, and sponge cake with chocolate frosting. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy opted for four cupcakes, while the noted vegan Booker opted not to indulge.