Vice President Kamala Harris heads to Guatemala and Mexico

08 Juin, 2021, 05:50 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Kamala Harris, Speaking in Guatemala, Warns Against Making 'Dangerous Trek' to U.S. Border: 'Do Not Come. Do Not Come.'

Vice President Kamala Harris is in Guatemala to meet with President Alejandro Giammattei, and during their joint press conference Monday, the vice president said anyone thinking about making the unsafe trek to the US-Mexico border should not come. "The president and I discussed that fundamentally, most people do not want to leave home, they don't want to leave the place where the language they know is spoken".

"I am against her stepping over the sovereignty of the Guatemalan...most of all to bring an anti-corruption agenda, where they protect good but corrupt people, where she has met with convicts in the United States", stated Jorge Lemus, former captain of infantry for the Guatemalan Army.

The Guatemalan president pointed to the Biden administration's pledges not to deport unaccompanied children, and the Democratic president's efforts to end some of what many saw as inhumane practices carried out as part of the Trump administration's immigration enforcement efforts, as factors contributing to the surge of northern-bound migration.

She said that a task force combining resources from the Justice, State and Treasury departments would work with local prosecutors to punish corrupt actors in Central America.

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The White House has been under increasing pressure from conservatives over the border issue, which reemerged as a top issue in recent weeks as reports indicated that some of the highest numbers of migrants seen in decades were attempting to cross the U.S. -Mexico border. "We are creating this task force to address corruption, to address human smuggling, doing the work to make sure certain progress be made if we are going to attract investment", Harris said.

The Biden administration is under ongoing political pressure to stem the tide of migrants at the U.S. southern border, and Harris is facing the first major diplomatic test of her vice presidency. "What fight against corruption is she talking about?" Priorities include economic development, climate and food insecurity and women's issues, White House officials said.

Harris will also meet civil society leaders and entrepreneurs in Guatemala and then go to Mexico. She confirmed that the United States would supply half a million COVID-19 doses to Guatemala.

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