Saturday, 18 September, 2021


Harris takes on graft in Guatemala and tells migrants ‘do not come’

Kamala Harris, Speaking in Guatemala, Warns Against Making 'Dangerous Trek' to U.S. Border: 'Do Not Come. Do Not Come.' Harris takes on graft in Guatemala and tells migrants ‘do not come’
Conrad Doyle | 09 June, 2021, 06:49

USA border authorities encountered almost 19,000 unaccompanied children in March, the highest on record. "If you come to our border, you will be turned back".

NBC's Lester Holt asked Harris whether she has plans to visit the border, having gone 76 days without a trip there since being named border czar. "We can't help set someone's house on fire and then blame them for fleeing".

But she too There was a clear message Under the Biden administration, illegally staying Guatemalan immigrants will not find comfort at the border with the United States.

Harris' comments on Tuesday came as she visited Guatemala, her first visit overseas since taking on the crisis at the border.

CNN reported last week that Harris' team is trying to distance her from the U.S. -Mexico border crisis after President Biden appointed the vice president to lead the administration's efforts there in March.

US Vice President Kamala Harris said Monday the United States hopes to work with Guatemala to address the root causes of illegal migration by creating "a sense of hope" in the poverty- and violence-plagued country, on her first trip overseas since taking office.

More recently, the U.S. -financed, U.N. Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala helped bring down democratically elected conservative President Otto Perez Molina, a former general, who resigned after massive protests triggered by an investigation into corruption in his government.

In addition, the US has committed about $130 million over the next three years to support workers and labor reforms.

Harris also met civil society leaders and entrepreneurs in Guatemala.

"We had a robust, candid and thorough conversation", Harris said at the news conference after a three-hour meeting with Giammattei, who said they had discussed USA concerns about developments in Guatemala.

Ricardo Zuniga, U.S. President Joe Biden's special envoy for the Northern Triangle, speaks with the media in San Salvador, El Salvador on May 12, 2021.

"The main thing is that it's very important to show that the United States and Mexico are collaborating and trying to improve conditions on the ground among our neighbors because of the importance that the countries in Central America have for both of us", Zúñiga said.

"There are legal methods by which migration can and should occur", Harris said.

Ricardo Zúñiga, US special envoy for the Northern Triangle, told reporters ahead of Tuesday's meetings that the United States and Mexico "have not had this level of cooperation in Central America before". Harris told reporters she was focused on "tangible" results "as opposed to grand gestures".

When asked by a reporter in Mexico City why she has not gone to the U.S. southern border as part of her role in leading diplomatic efforts to stem the flow of migration, Vice President Kamala Harris said, "Listen, I've been to the border before, I will go again". "I mean, don't they have a point that if she has this task in front of her, should she not see the end cause as well as the root cause of the problem?"

Harris' trip is fraught with US political implications, though, as Republicans blame Biden and Harris for the surge in migrants trying to cross the country's southwestern border with Mexico.

Asked if she was concerned the message of root causes of migration aren't getting through, at least in the U.S., because of the questions of the border, Harris said, "I think it's a great question to ask".

At a recent news conference, some Republicans displayed a milk carton depicting Harris with the headline: "MISSING AT THE BORDER".

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