Thursday, September 16, 2021

Kamala Harris Will Visit Mexico & Guatemala Soon

Earlier this week, Vice President Harris said she will travel to Mexico and Guatemala soon as part of her efforts to address immigration from Central American countries to the U.S.

Harris expressed, “Our focus is to deal with the root causes, and I’m looking forward to traveling, hopefully as my first trip to the Northern Triangle, stopping in Mexico and then going to Guatemala sometime soon.” Last month the White House announced that Harris would be tasked with leading efforts to address the immigration surge at the southern border.

Her focus will be on Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras rather than the U.S.- Mexico border. She stated that she had no plans to visit the border and that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was leading efforts there.

Harris also clarified that she didn’t expect to see immediate change in migration patterns from the Northern Triangle region and that it would take a long- term commitment to the issue to get effective results. “It will not be obvious overnight. The work we have to do is going to require a commitment that is continuous that we institutionalize with our partners, and that is the work that I am prepared to do, which is to begin that process of meaningful work knowing that we’re going to have to have a long-term strategy and it will take some time to see the benefits of that work” she said.

Earlier this week, Harris met with experts from the Center for American Progress Oxfam, the Migration Policy Institution, the Atlantic Council, and the Latin America Working Group. The panel discussed root causes of migration, humanitarian assistance, and economic development, among other topics.

The Biden administration has been struggling with an increase of migrants at the southern border, many of them are unaccompanied minors. Republicans have criticized the Biden administration over immigration, arguing that President Biden’s rollback of hard-line Trump administration policies has contributed to the surge.

THE HILL