Kamala Harris visits Guatemala, country's president blames Biden admin. for border crisis

Ruben Hill
June 8, 2021

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said on Monday she had held "robust" talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on the need to fight corruption and deter undocumented immigration from Central America to the United States. "The president and I discussed that fundamentally, most people do not want to leave home, they don't want to leave the place where the language they know is spoken".

Harris announced the formation of an anti-corruption task force, comprised of officials from the departments of Justice, Treasury and State, to address another thorny issue in the region.

Harris met with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on Monday, who said he and Harris are not on the same side of the coin on the migration issue.

President Biden charged Harris with heading the White House's response to stemming Central American migration in late March, as the administration scrambled to address the latest influx of migrants, including record numbers of unaccompanied children, arriving without documentation at the U.S. -Mexico border.

Harris will also stop in Mexico City on this first trip in her assignment to spearhead efforts to address the root cause of the surge in migration.

Harris talked about the creation of a task force to crack down on smuggling and human trafficking, and said, "The underlying reason for so much of what we are seeing in terms of this level and type of corruption is about profit".

The group will complement the efforts to build cases against corrupt actors in the region, the statement said.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in March that the USA was "on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years".

"It is in our collective interest that we work together", Harris said at the start of a meeting with Giammattei.

In Guatemala, the vice president will also meet with Guatemalan community leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs as well as greet and thank U.S. embassy staff. She confirmed that the United States would supply half a million COVID-19 doses to Guatemala.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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