Published: Wed, June 09, 2021
Economy | By

Harris says USA wants to work with Guatemala to limit migration

Harris says USA wants to work with Guatemala to limit migration

Since President Joe Biden took office in January, the number of migrants taken into custody per month at the U.S. Mexico border has risen to the highest levels in 20 years.

"And so, the work that we are doing by being in Guatemala yesterday, in Mexico today, is the work of reinforcing the point that we have to look at not only what is actually happening at the border, but what is causing that to happen".

"We are not going to see an immediate return".

"I want to be clear to the people in the area who are thinking about risky trekking to the US-Mexico border", she said.

"I - at some point - you know - we are going to the border".

Earlier she brushed off questions about her decision not to go to the border as part of her work to address the spike in migration, saying that while it was "legitimate" to be concerned about the situation there, it wouldn't be addressed with a simple visit. So this whole thing about the border.

After the vice president claimed the administration had "been to the border", Holt pressed her.

Tens of thousands of their citizens have left home to trek through Mexico to try to get into the United States in recent months, with more than 178,000 migrants reaching the US border in April, almost half from Central America.

"And I haven't been to Europe".

Harris declined to respond directly to the criticism when reporters asked, saying only: "I'm really clear: we have to deal with the root causes and that is my hope. And so that is about one having direct conversations with heads of state, the president of Guatemala and the president of Mexico which I've had now in the last 24 hours, to have a one-on-one conversation to eyeball each other and to say, look, let's speak honestly", Harris added. "I still will encourage them to do more, to reach out to the folks on the border communities and keep talking to them, to make sure that they get a balanced view of what's happening there at the border itself". And while expressing cautious optimism about the ongoing immigration issues, the vice president warned that there is no "quick fix" to the situation.

"First, seeking asylum at the USA border is a 100% legal way to arrive", she said in the 2018 primary, influential on the Democratic left, widely known as the AOC.

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 risky trek to the US-Mexico border should not come.

"It must be priority for us to understand why people leave", she told the news conference.

"The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders..."

"The question that has come up and you heard it here and you'll hear it again I'm sure, is, 'Why not visit the border?"

Harris, due to meet Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday, said she had told Giammattei the United States would send 500,000 coronavirus vaccines to Guatemala.

In her video, the lawmaker cited statistics that report a dramatic increase in illegal immigration, drug smuggling and gun trafficking along the border.

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