Kamala Harris Says Trump 'Pulled Out' of Immigration Progress, U.S. Must 'Rebuild'

Vice President Kamala Harris said Sunday she will increasingly be calling on United Nations allies to help with the immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border, blaming part of today's issues on a lack of continuity caused by former President Donald Trump.

Harris reiterated during a Sunday morning CNN interview that the immigration crisis flowing out of the Northern Triangle countries of Central America won't "be solved overnight." She noted that if such a complex issue were easy, "it would have been handled years ago."

The vice president blasted the Trump administration for bringing all efforts to solve the "root problems" of the border crisis to a "standstill." She said next month's meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is part of a post-Trump collaboration to "rebuild."

Harris has criticized Trump's border wall efforts as a simple stopgap that doesn't solve the "extreme hunger and economic devastation" that is bringing Central American migrants to the border in the first place.

"We're going to be increasing the requests that we're making of our allies in the United Nations," Harris told CNN's Dana Bash. "This is about the Western Hemisphere, we are a neighbor in the Western Hemisphere. We have the capacity to actually get in there if we are consistent. Part of the problem is that under the previous administration, they pulled out, essentially, a lot of what had been the continuum of work, and it essentially, came to a standstill."

"We have to rebuild it," Harris said, stressing that the border crisis needs continuity even amid wide U.S. partisan divides. "This has to be a function of an American priority, not just a function of whoever happens to be sitting in this chair."

Vice President Kamala Harris on addressing the root causes of migration: "We have to give people some sense of hope that if they stay that help is on the way." #CNNSOTU https://t.co/dcOKYcUCX0 pic.twitter.com/pb2PPMxQLt

— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) April 25, 2021

The U.S. must "institutionalize and internationalize" the humanitarian and migration issues to America's allies, she said. "This has to be a function of an American priority...but we are a neighbor in the Western Hemisphere."

Harris said she's been working with U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, to bring in international resources to help solve the problems.

Harris sought to humanize the families and children who have made the dangerous trip to the U.S. southern border by noting "most people don't want to leave home." She stressed that droughts and an inability for migrant families to "satisfy the basic necessities of life like feeding children" are at the root cause of the border influx.

"If parents and children cannot literally eat, cannot have basic essentials that people need to live, then of course they're going to flee and that's what we're seeing," Harris added.

"We're making progress, but it's not going to be evidenced overnight," Harris said, describing how she is carrying on the work Biden did during his time as vice president under former President Barack Obama.

Newsweek reached out to Harris' offices as well as Mexican diplomatic officials in Washington for additional remarks Sunday morning.

kamala harris linda thomas-greenfield
US Vice President Kamala Harris (R) swears-in Linda Thomas-Greenfield (2nd L) as US Ambassador to the United Nations, alongside her husband Lafayette Greenfield (2nd R), and their son, Lafayette Greenfield II, in the Vice President's Ceremonial Office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, February 24, 2021. SAUL LOEB / Contributor/Getty Images