Border Crisis Sparks Tensions Among Biden Administration’s Top Advisers

The escalating border crisis under President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly causing internal strife among top advisors, as revealed in an Axios report. Lawmakers engaged in debates on border security initiatives, Ukraine, and Israel funding, while the U.S.-Mexico border faces overwhelming challenges. December 2023 witnessed over 300,000 encounters with migrants, marking a record high. Sources claim that blame-shifting among officials is intensifying, with some distancing themselves from responsibility.

In a January 2023 meeting addressing the border crisis, President Biden reportedly expressed frustration, particularly directed at Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon and Homeland Security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall for lacking specific immigration data. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates contested this characterization, stating that multiple participants denied the described tone and outcome, emphasizing discussions on the complex issue.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, traditionally avoiding border matters, delegated responsibilities to Sherwood-Randall, who lacked experience in the field. Vice President Kamala Harris, initially tasked with addressing migration root causes in Central America, reportedly limited her involvement to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, distancing herself from a broader global issue. Internal sources suggest Harris has been ineffective or sporadically engaged, refusing additional responsibility.

Alleged tensions between Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice, Sherwood-Randall, and Harris have further complicated the situation. Sources note lingering friction from the 2020 White House run between Rice and Harris. Rice is said to assert her superior understanding of the border crisis, causing strain in relations.

Moreover, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is reportedly a source of discontent among officials, accused of failing to secure additional space in child migrant shelters. Rice allegedly harbors animosity, previously referring to Becerra as a “bitch ass” and privately labeling him an “idiot.” Axios reported that Rice passed a note to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas during a meeting where Biden criticized Becerra, reading, “Don’t save him.”

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