Justin Bullock, FISM News
Vice President Kamala Harris visited Guatemala and Mexico on Monday and Tuesday in order to speak with both countries’ presidents about a number of issues including immigration. This trip represents the first international visit by the Vice President and comes in the wake of the growing refugee crisis at the US-Mexico border. Harris visited both countries in order to discuss possible partnerships and solutions to the mounting crisis.
In both countries Harris maintained a stern demeanor, saying that both President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico must take the initiative in decreasing the rampant poverty, violence, and corruption in their countries. She indicated that a large reason for the crisis at the US southern border is due to the fact that citizens in Central and South America are faced with absurd dangers and challenges as a part of their everyday lives. She also warned Guatemalans, Mexicans, and other residents in the region from coming to the US.
“I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come.”
— VP Kamala Harris during news conference with Guatemalan president Alejandro Giammattei pic.twitter.com/dYNwu7STbS
— The Recount (@therecount) June 7, 2021
Vice President Harris’ stern words signal a complete break from the tone and promises of the Biden Administration on the campaign trail leading up to the 2020 election. However, the words of Harris do not match her actions. She seems to be stubbornly set against visiting the US border in an attempt to snub her detractors. When asked on Tuesday about why she still hasn’t visited the border she said, “It would be very easy to say, we’ll travel to one place and therefore it’s solved. I don’t think anybody thinks that that would be the solution.” When pressed further she snidely remarked,
I haven’t been to Europe [either]. And I mean, I don’t understand the point that you’re making — I’m not discounting the importance of the border.
Now Biden seems caught between two factions that are upset with his administration’s immigration stance: Democrats who balk at Harris’ statement discouraging immigration, and Republicans who are concerned with the actual immigration policies, not merely rhetoric. Despite the words of Harris, the current policies in place seem intent on turning a blind eye to illegal immigrants pouring into the country at a historic rate.
Biden has scrapped Trump’s hardline border approach, instead committing to send millions of dollars to Central American countries to solve the “root problems” behind the border crisis. In Harris’ meeting with Obrador on Tuesday she pledged to send $130 million to Mexico alone in order to support labor reform and enhance their struggling economy.