Kamala Harris virtually meets with Mexico president ahead of trip

Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday met virtually with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ahead of her long-anticipated trip to Latin America as President Biden’s migration czar.

Harris made solely temporary remarks in Washington, saying, “Mexico is our closest neighbor,” earlier than reporters had been escorted away.

“Together, we must fight violence, we must fight corruption and impunity. It is in our countries mutual interest to provide immediate relief to the Northern Triangle and to address the root causes of migration,” Harris stated.

“You and I have discussed it before and understanding a belief – most people don’t want to leave home and when they do it is often because they are fleeing some harm or they are forced to leave because there are no opportunity.”

Harris confirmed this week that she is going to lastly go to Mexico and Guatemala on June 7-8.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks to the media during a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, May 5, 2021.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador speaks to the media throughout a information convention on the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, May 5, 2021.
REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

Biden appointed Harris in March as his level particular person on stemming the migrant disaster alongside the Mexico border amid a surge in households and unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. But she confronted sustained Republican criticism over her lack of related journey as unlawful crossings hit a 20-year high.

The White House took pains to emphasise that Harris would solely handle the “root causes” of migration and never border enforcement as kids had been crowded into cramped, jail-like services.

Vice President Kamala Harris (2nd R) conducts a bilateral meeting with Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador via video link on May 7, 2021.
Vice President Kamala Harris (2nd R) conducts a bilateral assembly with Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador by way of video hyperlink on May 7, 2021.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Harris’ schedule of public occasions has grown noticeably extra full of migration-related content material after critics prompt she was backing away from the difficulty.

Harris said Tuesday at an online convention of Western Hemisphere leaders that there’s an “alarming” inflow of migrants alongside the US-Mexico border, however that the issue can’t be solved without cleaning up corruption in Central America.

“No matter how much effort we put in on curbing violence, providing disaster relief, on tackling food insecurity — on any of it — we will not make significant progress if corruption in the region persists,” Harris stated.

Kamal Harris is expected to visit Mexico and Guatemala from June 7-8, 2021.
Kamal Harris is anticipated to go to Mexico and Guatemala from June 7-8, 2021.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Harris famous that the Biden administration lately boosted US support to Central America by “an additional $310 million” to stem the movement of migrants. Former President Donald Trump used international support as leverage over the international locations and froze some funding in 2019, arguing it was “probably just stolen” by corrupt leaders there.

In public remarks, Harris has attributed migration to a variety of “push” elements, together with hurricane injury, world warming, poverty, racial discrimination and gang violence.

Harris lately held latest occasions with Central American and US nonprofits and stated that she requested Japan’s prime minister and Finland’s president to assist stem the movement of migrants.

Republicans attribute the migrant surge to Biden border coverage adjustments and say Biden-backed legislation that will permit citizenship for many unlawful immigrants creates new “pull” elements.

In February, Biden terminated Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” coverage that required Central American asylum seekers to remain in Mexico whereas US courts reviewed their claims.

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