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GUATEMALA CITY — Standing alongside President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala during a Monday news conference, Vice President Kamala Harris attempted to dissuade Central American migrants from crossing the United States-Mexico border.

This comes amid a continuous surge in border crossings and apprehensions of illegal immigrants by federal authorities, sparking controversy and raising questions about the structural integrity of the Biden administration’s immigration policies as the unprecedented overcrowding of detention facilities first entered the public eye earlier this year.

The Daily Caller reports:

“The goal of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope at home,” Harris said. “At the same time, I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States — Mexico border, do not come, do not come.”

Although similarly weak-willed statements were made in the past, most notoriously by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in March, this still contradicts virtually all previous sentiment expressed by Biden administration officials in the months leading up to the crisis. This is something that has not gone unnoticed by those on both ends of the political spectrum.

However, the focus on the hypocrisy of the administration’s sudden policy reversal is misguided, as is often the case when individuals on the right fall into the common trap of focusing on rhetoric as opposed to underlying policy issues.

In this case, the issue in question is the ramifications of immigration reform initiatives by the Biden administration. The problem isn’t Harris saying one thing before saying the opposite months later — the problem is that Biden’s immigration policies continually result in abject failure.

At the beginning of his administration, Biden’s immigration agenda was clear: reform, regardless of its social or political costs.

Executive orders in Biden’s first few weeks in office were demonstrative of this: he initially tried to implement a hundred-day moratorium on deportations. He established the Family Reunification Task Force, which tasks four cabinet departments with reuniting family units separated while being processed by immigration authorities — a move which Giammattei has openly stated would directly contribute to the continued emboldening of coyotes. A February 2 order allowed for the resumption of the release of apprehended migrants into the United States, some without court dates, as detention facilities began overflowing.

The notion that none of these things have anything to do with the continuing surge of illegal border crossings, as promoted by left-wing media, as well as Harris herself, is absurd on its face. Bad policy generates perverse incentives, and perverse incentives generate political crises — and the Biden administration’s mishandling of the situation at the border is proving itself a case study of this.

This should be the primary focus of Biden’s critics. While the 180-degree turn in Biden officials’ public comments on border policy is indeed telling in its own right, the gross mishandling of the situation preceding them is the actual issue at play, the real bone of contention in the immigration debate, and as such, is what should continually be emphasized.

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