“Don’t come to America”

Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States has called on Guatemalan immigrants not to enter the United States illegally.

She talked about her first trip abroad after taking office, saying that traveling north is dangerous and primarily benefits smugglers.

Ms. Harris warned people to turn back at the border.

She is tasked with controlling the proliferation of immigrants on the southern border from President Joe Biden.

Harris explains that it is his job to find solutions to address the root causes of the border crisis, such as corruption and lack of financial opportunities. According to her staff, this first visit is primarily an information gathering trip.

At a press conference with Guatemalan President Alejandro Jamatti, she said, “Don’t come. Don’t come. The United States will continue to enforce the law and protect its borders,” she said to illegal immigrants to the United States. I warned you.

She added: “When you come to our border, you will be turned back.”

Harris said he wants the United States and Guatemala to “cooperate” to find a solution to the “long-term problem.”

She said people must be given a “sense of hope that help is approaching.”

“It must be tied to a relationship of trust. In terms of what we do as leaders to convince people that there is reason to have hope in their future and in the future of their children. , Must be tied to visible results, “added Harris.

President Giammattei defended the government’s own record of fighting corruption and said the fight against drug trafficking should be an important part of tackling this issue.

He announced new processing centers for migrants repatriated from the United States and Mexico, stating that the focus of both countries is on the creation of prosperity.

Harris said the United States will send 500,000 coronavirus vaccines to Guatemala and provide $ 26 million (£ 18.3 million) to fight the pandemic there. The area is strongly affected by the virus, and the living environment is getting worse.

She also met with national civil society leaders and entrepreneurs before meeting with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday in Mexico.

President Biden has been criticized by Republicans for ignoring the crisis on the southern border.

However, in a recent speech to Congress, he said: “When I was Vice President, I focused on providing the support needed to address these root causes of immigrants. I worked.”

A trip that emphasizes the scale of the task at hand

Analysis Box by Will Grant, Correspondents in Mexico and Central America

Analysis Box by Will Grant, Correspondents in Mexico and Central America

The Guatemalan government would have been somewhat pleased to host the Vice President’s first overseas visit. This is a sign that relations with Washington have improved since the Trump administration. However, in reality, the Biden administration has few other viable partners in the region due to diplomatic tensions and open conflicts with the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Much was revealed at the joint press conference.

Indeed, the Biden administration’s rhetoric is more compassionate than it was in the last four years. The Vice President referred to “hunger, hurricanes and pandemics” as the “acute” factors of migration and talked about empowering the indigenous communities of Guatemala.

Indeed, the promise of 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine from the United States is welcomed as the region is far behind many parts of the world towards a fully vaccinated society. ..

However, many Guatemalan people will respond to other measures, with skepticism.

The proposed anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling measures will struggle to detect a sophisticated criminal network running north on immigration and drug routes. Despite much debate about job and incentive creation in Guatemala, Washington’s plans also include strengthening police and security forces, which could even prevent migrants from leaving the country in the first place. Many know that it is included. And the promise of hundreds of millions of dollars in development assistance will also warn of how those funds will be managed.

In fact, the Anti-Corruption Commission’s debate seemed to touch a vivid nerve with President Jamatti, who became the defense, as he denied “interference” with the country’s anti-graft prosecutor’s work.

Above all, this trip emphasized the scale of the task at hand.

What are the main items on Ms. Harris’s agenda?


More than 178,000 immigrants arrived at the border in April of this year, with a total of more than 20 years, the highest in a month, according to US border authorities.

After crossing the Rio Grande River in Lajoya, Texas, USA on May 14, 2021, asylum seekers seeking unaccompanied minors from Central America after entering the United States from Mexico are on the left side of this aerial photograph. Can be seen

Thousands of asylum seekers from Central America head to the US-Mexico border

Over 40% of these immigrants are from Central America, known as the Northern Triangle of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

This will be the main focus of Harris’s trip.


A central issue contributing to the border crisis is the corruption of government officials in the region, who have been accused of promoting drugs and trafficking.

Ms. Harris will discuss the situation in Guatemala and Mexico. However, the Vice President has not yet spoken to the leaders of Honduras and El Salvador.

“We have the ability to give hope to people,” Harris said last month. “Part of giving hope to people is a very specific effort to eradicate corruption in the region.”

Ms. Harris meets with Guatemalan president on Monday

Ms. Harris meets with Guatemalan president on Monday

economic growth

Many migrants who have left the northern triangle say they have escaped violence, discrimination and poverty.

The constant “brain drain” of the local population exacerbates the problems posed by decades of political instability.

These countries also emphasize that they are experiencing the most negative effects of global warming, especially hurricanes, even though they contribute little to climate change.

Ms. Harris said at a press conference in Guatemala that she “is doing work that requires some progress” to attract US investment in the region.

She also promised US investment in agriculture, entrepreneurship, affordable housing, and the “Young Women’s Empowerment Initiative to Increase Education and Opportunities for Girls and Women.”

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