This week marks a big week for Vice President Kamala Harris as she embarks on her first foreign affairs trip as Vice President. Harris plans to visit both Guatemala and Mexico to address immigration concerns and country conditions. This trip is a result of President Biden tasking Vice President Harris with addressing the root causes of an increase in migration at the U.S.-Mexican border. A large part of addressing these root causes will focus on efforts to dismantle corruption in those countries. These anti-corruption efforts will be the focus of Vice President Harris’s meetings with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and Mexico’s President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The Biden and Harris administration plans to tackle issues such as drug smuggling and trafficking. The administration also plans to provide economic aid.
Vice President Harris arrived in Guatemala Sunday, June 6th where she was greeted by Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Pedro Bolo. Vice President Harris hopes to coordinate commitments from both Guatemala and Mexico for greater cooperation on border security and economic investment in the region. Harris announced plans to provide $310 million in support for refugees, address food shortages, and create agreements with companies investing in the Northern Triangle to promote economic opportunity and job training for citizens in those countries. This program centers around creating more opportunities and improving living conditions in the area. She also plans to address vaccine sharing, offering 500,000 doses to Guatemala and 1 million doses to Mexico. Besides government officials, Harris plans to meet community leaders and entrepreneurs in Guatemala. In Mexico she plans to host a roundtable with labor workers and speak to female entrepreneurs.
Vice President Harris has had trouble setting meetings with El Salvador and Honduras, two other countries with substantial levels of corruption and violence in the region. Each of these countries have countless individuals fleeing to seek asylum in the United States.