US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — With the arrival of the Biden administration in the White House, the United States is tightening its migration policy. Thus, US Vice President Kamala Harris, who visited Guatemala, gave a “clear signal” to the residents of this country, suffering from poverty and rampant banditry and wanting to move to much more prosperous, in their opinion, States: we are not waiting for you.
On Monday, June 7, during her visit to Guatemala, US Vice President Kamala Harris told would-be migrants that they should not try to get to the US border with Mexico. She stressed that if they do this, they will still be sent home.
“I want to emphasize that the purpose of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope in their homeland. At the same time, I would like to make it clear to those in the region who are considering taking this dangerous path to the United States-Mexico border: don’t come, ”Harris said.
Harris delivered these statements at a joint press conference with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei. She visited the country as part of her first overseas trip since President Biden made her responsible for diplomatic efforts in the region to address the significant rise in migration at the United States-Mexico border.
While Harris and the Biden administration point to “root causes” driving the outflow of migrants from Central America, such as poverty, climate and violence, Giammattei has also previously noted changes in the new administration’s messages to migrants.
“The signal changed too: ‘We will reunite families, we will reunite children with parents,” he told CBS News. “The next day, the coyotes were already organizing groups of children to bring them to the United States.” “We asked the United States government to send a clearer signal to stop people from leaving,” he said.
On Monday, June 7, Harris apparently tried to send this clear signal and announced that the migrants would be returned to their homeland. Thus, she tried to voice a tougher position on illegal immigration.
“The United States will continue to enforce its laws and keep its borders secure,” she said. – There are legal methods according to which migration can and should take place, and we, within the framework of our priorities, will oppose illegal migration. I suppose if you get to our border, you will be turned back.”
The Biden administration overturned several Trump administration decisions to keep migrants out of the United States, even as the number of migrants at the border grew. Of course, the most significant of these was the Protocols for the Protection of Migrants program, which allowed migrants to remain in Mexico while they awaited hearings on their cases. The Biden administration put an end to the program, bringing the migrants caught up in the United States.
The Biden administration also ended a number of asylum cooperation agreements with countries such as Guatemala – agreements that forced migrants to seek asylum first in other countries. She has also been accused of encouraging migration by downsizing border police and making it easier for illegal immigrants already in the United States to obtain citizenship.
The Biden administration has kept the Trump-era public health decree, which allows for the rapid expelling of migrants in the face of the covid-19 pandemic. Of the 178,000 migrants who gathered at the border in April, officials say, 111,714 were expelled under this decree, mostly single adults.
However, the Biden administration does not apply this decree to children who were unaccompanied by their relatives – in April there were more than 13,000 such children who arrived at the border. And the administration does not return families of migrants with children under seven years old to Mexico, because this country refuses to accept them – that is, a significant number of families are not returned to their homeland, and they end up in the United States.
While voicing the administration’s tougher line on illegal immigration, Harris focused on the “root causes” of the surge in migration and went on to talk about US investment in agribusiness, affordable housing and Guatemalan entrepreneurs. The United States recently announced $ 310 million in financial assistance to the region as part of a planned $ 4 billion investment in Central America.
Harris also announced a Young Women Empowerment Initiative that will improve the chances of women and girls in education and employment. It will help fight human trafficking, drug smuggling and corruption, she said. Harris also added that she had a “frank” conversation with Guatemalans about the fight against corruption.
Harris has been the target of fierce criticism from Republicans for her performance in the role that was given to her 75 days ago. Although the White House emphasizes that she does not directly deal with border issues, Republicans have criticized her many times for not going to the border. Former Trump administration officials argue that it needs to travel to the border to be able to negotiate effectively.
“After 75 days of working to resolve the Biden border crisis, Kamala Harris still refuses to visit the border,” said Jaime Florez, director of public relations for the Republican National Committee on Monday, June 7. working to address the humanitarian consequences of the Biden administration’s disastrous border policy, Kamala is once again ignoring the millions of Americans affected by this policy.”
“The purpose of Kamala’s meetings in Mexico and Guatemala is to shift the blame from the Biden administration to others, not to resolve the crisis that she and Biden have created,” he continued.
However, on Monday, June 7, Harris brushed aside this criticism, calling the trip to the border a “sweeping gesture.”
“The reason I came to Guatemala on my first trip overseas as Vice President of the United States is because it is one of our top priorities. I came here to visit the field, to talk with the leader of this country about what we can do to get significant, visible and real results. And I will continue to focus on this kind of work, not big gestures.”
From Guatemala, Harris will travel to Mexico, where she will meet with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
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