April 11, 2021

Where's Kamala?!

This is a big front page article in the NYT: "Young Migrants Crowd Shelters, Posing Test for Biden/The administration is under intensifying pressure to expand its capacity to care for as many as 35,000 unaccompanied minors, part of a wave of people crossing the border." 

For Biden? I thought he palmed this off on Kamala Harris. The first thing I did when I saw the headline was search the page for "Harris." Then: "Kamala." Then: "Vice." Nothing!

But I agree. It's Biden's responsibility, whether he performs the theater of delegation or not. And yet, I don't appreciate shielding Harris. Or making her invisible. It's either diminishing her or protecting her, and I don't accept that. 

Okay. Now I'll read. Excerpt:

The desperate plea landed this week in the email inboxes of employees in government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and NASA: Will you consider taking a four-month paid leave from your job to help care for migrant children in government-run shelters packed with new arrivals at the border?...

Wow!

The pressure is producing tension inside the White House. President Biden expressed frustration with Xavier Becerra, his new secretary of health and human services, in a White House meeting on March 30, for what the president views as bureaucratic holdups in increasing capacity, according to two administration officials familiar with the exchange. Susan Rice, the director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Amy Pope, the president’s senior adviser for migration issues, have been aggressively pressing officials from the health department and other immigration agencies for explanations about the failure to quickly move more than 4,000 migrant youths out of jail-like detention facilities run by Border Patrol, according to several people familiar with the meetings....

 Was Harris there? 

"[A]ggressively pressing... for explanations about the failure" sounds quite lame. The "aggressively" seems truly pathetic. Have Rice and Pope been speaking sternly or what? They really really want to know: Why all this failure? Are they asking: Where's Kamala?

“Despite inheriting a broken immigration system decimated by four years of neglect and poor policy decisions, the Biden administration continues to remain focused on expanding capacity and bed space,” said Vedant R. Patel, a White House spokesman...

Expanding bed space and desperately calling out for employees in disparate places like NASA to walk off their career path and into the work of babysitting.

Aides to [former President Donald] Trump said career officials warned the incoming Biden team of the likely surge of arrivals in the spring, but said the new administration did not move quickly to begin reactivating emergency facilities for added space. Biden administration officials reject that criticism, saying they were not given enough information during the transition and they notified Congress of the need to begin adding emergency capacity in early February....

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There is no comments section anymore, but you can email me here. Unless you say otherwise, I will presume you'd enjoy an update to this post with a quote from your email. 

ADDED: The photographs at the NYT are excellent and heart-rending, but it was jarring (and funny) to see Brad Pitt lounging comfortably amidst the unnamed sufferers (captured by me (click to enlarge and clarify)):