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Immigration Disappears From Kamala Harris’ Public Schedule

Immigration Disappears From Kamala Harris’ Public Schedule

Authored by Philip Wegmann via RealClear Politics (emphasis ours),

It was her…

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Immigration Disappears From Kamala Harris' Public Schedule

Authored by Philip Wegmann via RealClear Politics (emphasis ours),

It was her first overseas trip, and Vice President Harris, recently deputized to address what the White House calls “the root causes of migration,” was in Guatemala trying to break through with a simple message. “Do not come,” Harris told would-be migrants last June. “Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders.”

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

They did not listen, or if any migrants did hear Harris last year, many ignored her message. Just last month, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, 234,088 migrants were apprehended at the southern border, the highest mark ever recorded.

Asked that same month if President Biden had confidence in Harris and her ability to handle the situation, then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki replied, “he absolutely does.” But as the flow of migrants accelerates across the southern border, immigration has disappeared from the vice president’s public schedule.

A compilation of that schedule by the Los Angeles Times, reviewed by RealClearPolitics, shows that Harris has not hosted an immigration-specific event since last summer. The last one, a meeting with Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander leaders in the White House last August, touched briefly on immigration.

White House officials dispute any characterization that Harris’ public schedule tells the whole story. “The vice president continues to lead implementation of the Root Causes Strategy and has been engaging with Cabinet and other Administration officials on this effort,” Harris’ Press Secretary Kirsten Allen told RCP.

Addressing the challenge remains part of the vice president’s policy portfolio. She leads top-level meetings that are not always made public, and she has taken point in diplomatic efforts in the region. For instance, it was Harris who traveled to Honduras for the inauguration of President Xiomara Castro in January. Administration officials hoped to find a new ally in that executive, someone who would help stem the flow of the millions of people heading north through Central America to the southern border. According to an official White House readout, Harris and Castro discussed “a broad range of issues.” Among them migration, but also coronavirus and the economy as well as corruption and gender-based violence.

Despite those efforts, the influx has not slowed, and Biden is expected to end enforcement of Title 42, the pandemic policy that allowed Border Patrol to turn away hundreds of thousands of migrants on public health grounds. Warnings from some Democrats in border states, including Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, have gone unheeded.

The Department of Homeland Security is bracing for more record-breaking numbers at the border, and NBC News reports that there is concern in the department that they won’t have enough funding to address a surge if Title 42 is lifted, compounding a challenge that Biden has faced since the beginning of his presidency.

As the number of interdictions started to rise and chaotic images from the southern border flooded cable news, concern grew, even among Democrats. Biden’s own pollsters, the New York Times reported, warned that the issue was “a growing vulnerability." Biden still insisted that he could get the situation under control, albeit with divine intervention.

“Is there a crisis at the border?” RCP asked the president as he walked out of the East Room of the White House after a speech last March.

“No,” Biden replied over his shoulder. “We’ll be able to handle it,” he said while walking side-by-side with Harris. “God willing.”

Two weeks later, the Associated Press reported at the time, Biden tapped Harris to lead the administration efforts to tackle the migration challenge at the southern border and work with Central American nations to address root causes of the problem. Republicans were eager to assign blame and dubbed Harris “border czar.”

The vice president rejected that framing and sought to clarify her mission. As the White House press secretary explained to reporters last March, Harris “will be helping lead that effort, specifically the root causes – not the border,” admitting that there has been “some confusion over that.”

The president was also confused: When Biden and Harris met with the Congressional Black Caucus in April that year, he praised his vice president, saying she would do “a hell of a job” handling immigration, according to a new book by New York Times’ reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns. But Harris corrected him then and there, the two write. “Excuse me,” she said, “it's the Northern Triangle – not immigration.”

Biden eventually clarified the mission. “It’s not her full responsibility,” he later told reporters, but “when she speaks, she speaks for me.”

Whether she wanted the job or not, Harris embraced the challenge. She has made three trips to the region, and she traveled to the southern border to hear directly from Border Patrol. The vice president has met both with law enforcement and migrant groups, stressing all the while that the question “cannot be reduced to a political issue.”

Politics were there from the beginning though, and some feared that deputizing Harris to tackle such a mammoth challenge ran the risk of unfairly saddling her with a thankless mission for which there is no easy solution. “She is qualified to do the job,” Chuck Rocha told RCP of Biden’s decision to turn this part of his policy portfolio over to his vice president. Rocha helmed Latino outreach for Sen. Bernie Sanders in both of that candidate’s presidential bids, and Rocha credited Harris for being “a staunch advocate of the progressive wing of the immigration movement.”

All the same, Rocha warned last year that expectations should be tempered: “It has been an issue that we have been trying to fix for generations, one that I don’t think any one person can totally solve.”

Biden has called on Congress to take up comprehensive immigration reform since he got to the White House. There is no bipartisan appetite on Capitol Hill for the bill that he sent to Congress on his first day in office. The administration has subsequently been left to its own devices, and Harris released a 20-page plan last July to address the problem.

We will build on what works, and we will pivot away from what does not work,” Harris wrote in an introduction to the plan that focuses on creating partnerships with Northern Triangle countries to combat corruption, violence, and poverty.

“It will not be easy, and progress will not be instantaneous,” the vice president warned, “but we are committed to getting it right.” Biden should know. He was deputized by then-President Obama to deal with a similar mission amid an earlier surge of migrants, many of them unaccompanied children. On a tour of Central and South American nations in 2014, he offered U.S. help to root out corruption, provide economic opportunity, and ensure safety in the Northern Triangle nations.

“We have to deal with the root causes,” Vice President Biden told reporters gathered for a press conference in the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Guatemala, echoing the exact phrase his administration now uses eight years later.

Biden understands the challenge, and that tackling it without help from Congress is arduous and thankless, if not impossible.

“I said when we became a team and got elected, that the vice president was going to be the last person in the room,” he joked last March when he announced that Harris would helm the mission. “She didn’t realize that means she gets every assignment.”

“I gave you a tough job, and you’re smiling, but there’s no one better capable of trying to organize this for us,” the president continued after the levity. The vice president didn’t flinch. She thanked him “for having confidence in me.” Then Harris added, “there’s no question that this is a challenging situation.”

Tyler Durden Mon, 05/23/2022 - 23:00

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Government

Cruise Line Drops Pre-Cruise Covid Testing Rule

The major cruise lines walk a delicate line. They need to take the actual steps required to keep their passengers safe and they also need to be aware of…

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The major cruise lines walk a delicate line. They need to take the actual steps required to keep their passengers safe and they also need to be aware of how things look to the outside public. It's a mix of practical covid policy balanced with covid theater.

You have to do the right thing -- and Royal Caribbean International (RCL) - Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report, and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report have been doing that with very meticulous protocols-- but you also have to show the general public you're taking the pandemic seriously. The cruise industry has been under the microscope of both public perception and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) since covid first appeared.

That's not because you're likely to get infected on a cruise ship than at a concert, sporting event, theme park, restaurant, or any other crowded space. It's because when you get sick at one of those locations nobody can pinpoint the source of your infection

Cruises last from 3 days to 7 days or even longer and that means that some people will get covid onboard and that will be blamed on the cruise industry. To mitigate that Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian have rigid protocols in place that require passengers 12 and over to be vaccinated as well as pre-cruise covid tests taken no more than two days before your cruise leaves.

Once cruise line has dropped that testing requirement (at least on a few sailings) and that could lead Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian to follow. 

Sina Schuldt/picture alliance via Getty

Holland America Drops Some Covid Testing

As the largest cruise lines sailing from the U.S., Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian don't want to be the first to make major covid policy changes. They acted more or less in tandem when it came to loosening, then dropping mask rules and have generally followed the lead of the CDC, even when that agency's rules became optional.

Now, Holland America cruise line has dropped pre-cruise covid testing on a handful of cruises. It's a minor move, but it does provide cover and precedent for Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian to eventually do the same.

"Holland America Line becomes the first US-based cruise line to remove testing for select cruises. Unfortunately for those taking a cruise from the United States, the new protocols are only in place for certain cruises onboard the company’s latest ship, the Rotterdam, in Europe," Cruisehive reported.

The current CDC guidelines do recommend pre-cruise testing, but the cruise lines into following those rules. By picking cruises sailing out of Europe, Holland America avoids picking a fight with the federal agency just yet, but it will be able to gather data as to whether the pre-cruise testing actually helps.

Holland America has not changed its vaccination requirements for those cruises which mirror the 12-and-up rule used by Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian.

Some guests have called for the end of the testing requirement because they believe it's more theater than precaution because people can test and then contract covid while traveling to their cruise.

The Current Cruise Protocols Work

Royal Caribbean President Michael Bayley does expect changes to come in his cruise line's covid protocols, and he talked about them during Royal Caribbean's recent President's Cruise, the Royal Caribbean Blog reported.

"I think pre cruise testing is going to be around for another couple of months," Bayley told passengers during a question and answer session. "We obviously want it to go back to normal, but we're incredibly cognizant of our responsibilities to keep our crew, the communities and our guests safe."

People do still get covid onboard despite the crew being 100% vaccinated and all passengers 12 and over being vaccinated, but the protocols have worked well when it comes to preventing serious illness.

Bayley said that the CDC shared some information with him in a call.

"The cruise industry sailing out of the US ports over the past 12 months and how many people have been hospitalized with Covid and how many deaths occurred from Covid from people who'd sailed on the industry's ships, which is in the millions," he said, "And the number of people who died from COVID who'd sailed on ships over the past year was two."

That success may be why the major cruise lines are reluctant to make changes. The current rules, even if they're partially for show, have been incredibly effective.

"Two is terrible. But but but against the context of everything we've seen, that's it's truly been a remarkable success." he added.

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International

Tesla Rivals Challenge Its Lead as Nio Sets Encouraging Record

Tesla’s rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader.

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Tesla's rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader.

Electric vehicle makers have been struggling over the last two years to produce and deliver cars, trucks and SUVs despite obstacles such as supply chain disruptions, semiconductor shortages and factory shutdowns caused by the covid pandemic.

The industry's leading EV manufacturer Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report on July 2 said that plant closures at its Shanghai gigafactory in April and May and supply chain disruptions led to a smaller number of deliveries than expected in its second quarter ending June 30 with 254,695, which was 26.7% higher than the same period in 2021, but 17.7% lower than its record of 310,048 delivered in the first quarter of 2021. Analysts were originally expecting about 295,000 deliveries.

Tesla's production declined to 258,580 vehicles in the second quarter compared to 305,407 in the first quarter. It had produced 305,840 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Tesla's rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader. But they keep trying.

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Tesla Rivals Struggle to Produce and Deliver Volume of EVs

Tesla rival Nio  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. American depositary shares each representing one Class A 蔚来汽车 Report on July 1 said that it had delivered 12,961 vehicles in June for a 60.3% year-over-year increase and its highest number of monthly deliveries ever. The company also reported 25,059 EVs delivered in the three months ending June 2022, increasing by 14.4% year-over-year. Nio has delivered a cumulative 217,897 EVs as of June 30.

NIO on June 15 rolled out its ES7, a new mid-large five-seat smart electric SUV, which is the first SUV product based on NIO's latest technology platform Technology 2.0. NIO also launched the 2022 ES8, ES6 and EC6 equipped with the upgraded digital cockpit domain controller and sensing suite, enhancing the computing and perception capabilities as well as digital experience of the vehicles. The company expects to start deliveries of the ES7 and the ES8, ES6 and EC6 in August.

Chinese EV maker XPeng  (XPEV) - Get XPeng Inc. American depositary shares each representing two Class A 小鹏汽车 Report on July 1 said it delivered 15,295 vehicles in June, a 133% increase year-over-year; 34,422 in the second quarter ending June 30 for a 98% increase year-over-year and 68,983 in the first six months of the year for a 124% increase year-over year.

The Guangzhou, China-based company said in August it will begin accepting orders for its new G9 SUV with an official launch in September.

Beijing-based Li Auto  (LI) - Get Li Auto Inc. Report on July 1 said it delivered 13,024 EVs in June, a 68.9% increase year-over-year and 28,687 in the second quarter ending June 30 for a 63.2% increase year-over-year. The company on June 21 began taking orders for its Li L9 SUV and recorded 30,000 orders as of June 24, according to a statement. Test drives will begin July 16 with deliveries beginning by the end of August.

GM Follows Behind Tesla and Other Rivals

General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report had 7,300 EV sales in the second quarter, according to a July 1 statement. The Detroit automaker's sales included deliveries of the BrightDrop Zevo 600 delivery van, GMC Hummer EV pickup, and the resumption of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV production.

GM said the Cadillac Lyriq production is accelerating, with initial deliveries in process. Orders for the 2023 model year sold out within hours and preorders for the 2024 model opened on June 22.

The company said it will gradually increase production of the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV Pickup in the second half of 2022. 

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Spread & Containment

Tesla EV deliveries fall nearly 18% in second quarter following China factory shutdown

Tesla delivered 254,695 electric vehicles globally in the second quarter, a nearly 18% drop from the previous period as supply chain constraints, China’s…

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Tesla delivered 254,695 electric vehicles globally in the second quarter, a nearly 18% drop from the previous period as supply chain constraints, China’s extended COVID-19 lockdown and challenges around opening factories in Berlin and Austin took their toll on the company.

This is the first time in two years that Tesla deliveries, which were 310,048 in the first period this year, have fallen quarter over quarter. Tesla deliveries were up 26.5% from the second quarter last year.

The quarter-over-quarter reduction is in line with a broader supply chain problem in the industry. It also illustrates the importance of Tesla’s Shanghai factory to its business. Tesla shuttered its Shanghai factory multiple times in March due to rising COVID-19 cases that prompted a government shutdown.

Image Credits: Tesla/screenshot

The company said Saturday it produced 258,580 EVs, a 15% reduction from the previous quarter when it made 305,407 vehicles.

Like in other quarters over the past two years, most of the produced and delivered vehicles were Model 3 and Model Ys. Only 16,411 of the produced vehicles were the older Model S and Model X vehicles.

Tesla said in its released that June 2022 was the highest vehicle production month in Tesla’s history. Despite that milestone, the EV maker as well as other companies in the industry, have struggled to keep apace with demand as supply chain problems persist.

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