The US Vice President has been entrusted with the task of curbing illegal migration on the border with Mexico. During her visit to Guatemala, Kamala Harris spoke clearly.
On her first trip abroad as US Vice President, Kamala Harris emphasized the fight against corruption and people smuggling to curb illegal migration in Guatemala. It announced on Monday in Guatemala City the creation of US government working groups on both topics. To those contemplating making the dangerous journey to the US border, she said, “Don’t come.” Harris said that anyone who comes to the border will be rejected.
The US agency for development cooperation (USAID) will provide up to 88 million dollars for programs in Guatemala – to help young, indigenous women and to increase economic opportunities. During the joint appearance with the Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei after a bilateral discussion – which she said was “very open” – Harris emphasized that it was in the interests of the USA to help create such opportunities and to share prosperity. She also speaks to company leaders about investing in Guatemala.
Giammattei also spoke of the fight against drug trafficking as an important common task. When asked by US journalists that his critics saw him as part of the corruption problem, the conservative politician, who has ruled since 2020, referred to falsehoods that were spread on social media.
The number of migrants has risen sharply
In April Harris had already announced the payment of additional aid funds of 310 million dollars (around 255 million euros) to the Central American countries Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Most of the tens of thousands of people who try to cross the Mexican border illegally into the United States each month come from these three countries, plus Mexico.
After US President Joe Biden and Harris took office in January, the number of migrants has risen sharply. Biden has hired Harris to take the lead in curbing illegal migration on the US southern border by addressing the root causes of displacement in Central America. In addition to Guatemala, her two-day trip also takes her to its neighboring country Mexico.