Originally Published in The Hill
Joseph Choi - April 25, 2021
Vice President Harris in an interview broadcast Sunday discussed her role in charge of the immigration crisis, saying her approach is based on the perspective that “most people don’t want to leave home.”
“I come at this issue from the perspective that most people don't want to leave home,” Harris said on CNN's "State of the Union" when asked how she would define success in her role leading the Biden administration's efforts to stem the growing number of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“They don't want to leave their grandparents; they don't want to leave the place where they grew up; where they, you know, they speak the language or they know the culture. The place where they're from the place that is home,” Harris continued. “Most people don't want to leave home and when they do, it's usually for one of two reasons: they're fleeing some harm or they cannot stay and satisfy the basic necessities of life.”
"I look at the issue of what's going on in the Northern Triangle from that perspective. And then my take on it is that we've got to understanding that. We have to give people some sense of hope that if they stay that help is on the way," Harris added.
Harris also said that she had held a meeting with several members of President Biden's Cabinet including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and national security adviser Jake Sullivan in order to focus the administration's efforts on stemming the flow of immigration.
The vice president added that the Commerce Department would be convening a trade mission as part of these efforts and the Department of Agriculture will be focusing resources to help farmers in the Northern Triangle region who have been affected by the drought.
"This is the kind of work that has to happen. The kind of work that has to happen is the diplomatic work that we've been engaged in, including my calls to the president of Mexico, the president of Guatemala," Harris said. She added that she would be meeting with the respective presidents, possibly in person, saying the meetings couldn't happen "soon enough."