Kamala Harris warns migrants in her first official trip to Guatemala
Kamala Harris (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
KAMALA HARRIS in an effort to deter immigration from Central America has warned migrants to not come to the United States.
In this regard, the US vice president on Monday (7) had talks with Alejandro Giammattei, the Guatemalan president.
Since Joe Biden took charge in January, the number of migrants arrested per month at the US Mexico border has risen to the highest levels in 20 years.
“Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders,” Harris said at a news conference alongside Giammattei. “If you come to our border, you will be turned back.”
Biden administration believes corruption is a contributing factor for poverty and violence that is driving people from Central America to head to the US. Harris said a US anti-corruption task force would work with local prosecutors to act against corrupt people in the region.
Ahead of Harris’ visit to Guatemala, her first official overseas trip, differences of opinion emerged, but the US vice president said she “had a robust, candid and thorough conversation” with Giammattei.
Meanwhile, Washington has criticised the removal of a senior judge from Guatemala’s top court, but Giammattei calls it a legitimate process.
“The president and I discussed the importance of anti-corruption and the importance of an independent judiciary,” Harris said.
The fight against drug trafficking needed to be an integral part of tackling corruption, he said and added that Guatemalan migrants leave because of poverty.
Harris responded to Republican criticism against her for not visiting the US-Mexico border and ignoring the crisis there.
“I’m just focused on that kind of work as opposed to grand gestures,” she said.
But was criticised by fellow Democrats like US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in reference to her message to the migrants.
“Seeking asylum at any US border is a 100 per cent legal method of arrival,” she tweeted.