US Vice President Kamala Harris announces Guatemala aid against the causes of flight – but also warns: Anyone who comes to the USA illegally will be sent back.
Guatemala City – People need to be given “a feeling of hope”. This is what US Vice President Kamala Harris said on her first trip abroad – destination: Guatemala. She wants to work with the Central American country on migration issues.
Harris warned residents of the poverty and violence ridden country not to enter the United States illegally. To those who were considering 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 would continue to enforce its laws and secure its border.
The goal must be to combat the causes of flight there and to find solutions to “long-standing problems,” said Harris on Monday at a meeting with President Alejandro Giammattei in Guatemala City. It must be prevented that they would be forced to flee to the USA because of the grievances in their country.
US Vice President Kamala Harris wants to cooperate with Guatemala on migration issues
Harris announced that he would set up a working group against smuggling and human trafficking with Guatemala. In addition, a program to support women and cooperation in investigations against corruption are planned. Harris stressed that it was in the interests of the US to help create such opportunities and share wealth. She also speaks to company leaders about investing in Guatemala.
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.
Migration to the US: Republicans blame US President Joe Biden
Illegal immigration has become a sensitive issue for President Joe Biden’s administration. In April alone, almost 180,000 people on the southern US border were prevented from entering the country without valid papers. The opposition Republicans accuse Biden of being responsible for a “crisis” on the southern border because he cannot contain immigration.
After Bidens and Harris took office in January, the number of migrants has risen sharply. Biden put Harris in charge of migration policy. In addition to Guatemala, her two-day trip also takes her to Mexico. (AFP / dpa / frs)