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Biden has VP Kamala Harris take the lead on 'stemming the migration' amid border crisis
ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images

Biden has VP Kamala Harris take the lead on 'stemming the migration' amid border crisis

President says he 'can think of no one who is more qualified to do this'

President Joe Biden has tasked Vice President Kamala Harris with taking charge of efforts to stem the flow of migrants to the southern border, as the administration struggles to handle a surge of people — including many unaccompanied minors — flowing into U.S. illegally via Mexico.

What are the details?

During a media conference Tuesday, the president claimed the "the new surge started" in the Trump administration, but said the vice president has agreed to lead diplomatic efforts to address the issue.

"I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this," Biden said, pointing to Harris' previous experience as the attorney general of California.

Migrant Surge: Harris Will Lead On Addressing Border Crisis | MSNBCwww.youtube.com

The president said he had asked Harris to lead the administration's efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, countries that will "need help stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border,"' NBC News reported.

A senior administration official told the outlet that Harris will focus on working to curb "the current flow of migrants and implementing a long-term strategy that addresses the root causes of migration."

Politico reported that "the role puts Harris front-and-center at one of the most politically risky issues for the White House as it struggles with an influx of migrant children at the southern border."

The outlet further noted:

Harris' new responsibility is similar to one Biden had while he was vice president. He visited the region several times as more migrants from the three countries began to make their way en masse to the U.S.-Mexico border. Those efforts were seen as largely unsuccessful, and the situation in the countries has grown even more precarious.

What did Harris say?

Harris acknowledged earlier Wednesday during an interview with CBS News that the situation at the southern border is "a huge problem."

CBS News host Gayle King told the vice president, "Rightly or wrongly, people are coming in record numbers because they believe the Biden administration has encouraged — certainly children — to come."

King asked, "What are you going to do about it? It's chaos, some are calling it a crisis," adding later that "there doesn't appear to be a game plan."

"OK look, it's a huge problem," Harris replied. "I'm not going to pretend it's not. It's a huge problem. Are we looking at overcrowding at the border in particular of these kids? Yes."

Harris told CBS News that she and Biden would "absolutely" visit the border sometime soon.

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