Vice President Harris: 'The Border Is Secure'

Susan Jones | September 12, 2022 | 9:21am EDT
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Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Paso del Norte Port of Entry on June 25, 2021 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Paso del Norte Port of Entry on June 25, 2021 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Chuck Todd, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," asked Vice President Kamala Harris in recorded interview on Friday: "Since we're here in Texas, I want to ask you about the border. Would you call the border secure?"

Harris said it was. She said:

"I think that there is no question that we have to do what the president and I asked Congress to do, the first request we made: pass a bill to create a pathway to citizenship. The border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system, in particular, over the last four years before we came in, and it needs to be fixed," Harris replied.

Todd pushed back: "We're going to have two million people cross this border for the first time ever. You're confident this border's secure?" he asked Harris.

"We have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration. But there are still a lot of problems that we are trying to fix given the deterioration that happened over the last four years," Harris said.

"We also have to put into place a law and a plan for a pathway for citizenship for the millions of people who are here and are prepared to do what is legally required to gain citizenship. We don't have that in place because people are playing politics in a state like this and in Congress.

"By the way, you want to talk about bipartisanship on an issue that at one time was a bipartisan issue both in terms of Republican senators and even presidents."

Todd then asked Harris why the current labor shortage -- so many unfilled jobs -- is not the "motivating force to get something done" on immigration reform:

"I do believe that, for all reasonable people, all reasonable people are motivated and desirous that we would get something done," Harris said:

"I think a big part of the problem, though, is that there's been political gamesmanship with this issue suggesting that it's a zero sum game. If you want to deal with the issue, there are practical solutions, which include creating a pathway to citizenship, fixing a broken immigration system, dealing with the root causes of why people are fleeing their home when most people don't want to leave home.

"And if they do, it's usually because they're fleeing some harm, or they simply can't take care of their basic needs if they stay. There are solutions. And sadly, this has become such a partisan issue, instead of something where we work on it together, agreeing that what we're doing is not working as a nation. It's not working."

Todd's recorded interview with Harris was played Sunday on "Meet the Press."

Shortly after taking office, President Biden directed Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the administration’s diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Little has happened since then.

Neither Harris nor President Biden have witnessed the daily flood of foreigners streaming illegally over the southwest border, although Harris did visit an immigration processing Center in El Paso, Texas in June 2021.

Far from discouraging illegal immigration, the Biden administration has rescinded Trump-era policies, including "remain in Mexico," that successfully reduced the number of illegal crossings.


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