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Biden Appoints Harris to Lead Coordination Efforts on Southern Border

The vice president is expected to focus on stemming the current flow of migrants to the border, coordinating with countries in the region to address the root causes of migration.

Posted: Mar 24, 2021 1:51 PM

WASHINGTON (NBC News)— President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he has appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to lead efforts on stemming migration across the U.S.-Mexico border as the administration faces growing political pressure to address a surge in undocumented migrant children unaccompanied by parents.

Harris will focus on coordination with Mexico and the Northern Triangle, Biden said at the White House.

The president's announcement comes as he has scrambled to find a solution that provides care for thousands of those unaccompanied children during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic while also working with Central American countries to address long-term solutions to migration in that region.
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A number of top officials have been dispatched in recent days to help address the issue, with a group of senior White House officials and lawmakers traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday. Other top officials were expected to visit Mexico and Guatemala.

The surge in migration has created a difficult problem for Biden who campaigned on a promise to reverse Trump-era policies that he and Democrats characterized as cruel and inhumane. At the same time, Republicans have blamed Biden for the increase in migrants, saying that the president's rhetoric and policies have encouraged people to travel to the U.S. from Central America.

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