Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a webcast meeting Monday focused on the “root causes” of illegal migration at the southern border with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.
Harris was appointed to address the root causes of increased migration at the southern border on March 24, though she was criticized for not visiting the region or holding public events, the New York Post reported. Harris said she plans to travel to Guatemala in June to work on the root causes of migration from the area with Giammattei.
“We are looking at the issue of poverty and the lack therefore of economic opportunities; the issue of extreme weather conditions and the lack of climate adaptation, as well as corruption and the lack of good governance, and violence against women, indigenous people, LBGTQ people and Afro-descendants,” Harris said.
Vice President Kamala Harris promised Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei more aid and a humane approach to tackling migration in a virtual meeting https://t.co/ykQGISiLwG pic.twitter.com/FDKsI4f5v2
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 27, 2021
Harris has not traveled to the southern border nor Central America, though she visited New Hampshire to promote the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan where protesters urged her to address the border crisis, the Post reported.
The U.S. will likely send more relief resources to the area to address both “acute causes” and “root causes” of migration in an effort to create opportunities for Guatemalans in the country, Harris said. The Biden administration is also working with international institutions, foundations and community organizers on strategies to manage migration.
“Creating hope through the consolidation of walls of prosperity where people can find here opportunities to move ahead and, therefore, not need to go abroad to the United States is the road that should be our objective,” Giammattei said.
The Guatemalan government plans to work with the U.S. towards stability in the country, Giammattei said. He added that the governments need to reach agreements before Harris’s June trip to “ensure peace, progress, and development.”
“And also, so that we can secure that cooperation that we need from you, in terms of matters that need strengthening,” Giammattei said.
Harris plans to meet with Guatemalan community leaders Tuesday in an effort to focus federal aid around relevant communities.
The vice-president spoke with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in March, though she has not announced talks with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández nor with El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, the Post reported.