During her first international trip as the vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris sent a harsh message to illegal migrants hoping to cross the border, “DO NOT COME.”
The trip to Central America is a crucial test for Harris, who was tapped to address the ongoing cycle of migrants from Central America crossing the U.S. lands.
The United States and Mexico share history and family. Our economies are tied, and our security relies on one another. I am here in Mexico City to renew our nation’s important partnership with Mexico.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) June 8, 2021
Although the vice president hasn’t visited the border to date, according to the White House, she was not tasked to visit the border per se, but to address the “root causes.” These causes, according to the administration, are the “violence and poverty” in Central American countries.
However, what’s striking in Harris’ Guatemala speech is how she emphasized the White House’s current position, “do not come.” She also highlighted that people who attempt to cross the border would be “turned away,” and should instead find legal means to migrate.
Harris’ previous campaign: “everyone is welcome here.”
This is a big turn of events. Previously, Harris campaigned that “everyone is welcome here” and supported the #NoBanNoWall mantra.
After years of telling migrants to come and bashing border security, Kamala Harris is now saying "do not come."
Too little, too late: over 170,000 migrants crossed our border last month. This is a crisis and her words helped create it. https://t.co/o5kWhrQFL2
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) June 8, 2021
Harris’s current stance was then met by criticism from different prominent figures. Included among them is former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.
Haley wrote in a tweet saying that after Harris told migrants for years to come to the U.S. (and after years of bashing the border security implemented by the Trump administration), she now says, “do not come.”
Haley added that it is already too late as there are over 170,000 migrants who crossed the border last month.
Harris said they will “root out” corruption where it exists
In her speech, Harris also did not shy away from using blunt language when she discussed the corruption in Guatemala.
It can be noted that Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has been criticized for persecuting officials who go against corruption and having political agenda to fight it.
"We must root out corruption where ever it exists," says Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP), addressing her mission to help weed out corruption in Guatemala. This is the Vice President's first foreign trip in office. pic.twitter.com/S2rH7OkMwz
— BNC (@BNCNews) June 7, 2021
Harris added that they will “root out” corruption where it exists, adding that the Biden-Harris administration would encourage an anti-corruption unit in the attorney general’s office in Guatemala. However, said the office has also been mainly criticized by the Guatemalan president.
The U.S. vice president said that she and President Giammattei had a “very frank” discussion about the importance of an independent judiciary. She added that they also talked about the significance of a strong civil society.
Meanwhile, President Giammattei in his defense, said the accusations against him are mere “misinformation.”
Biden-Harris administration resorted to using Trump-era policies
Biden and Harris faced criticism from moderate Democrats and Republicans in the initial months of his term. This is due to the soar of migrants crossing at the U.S.-Mexico border which, according to critics, was caused by Biden and Harris’ campaign of “everyone is welcome” in the U.S.
Yet, when the surge of migrants became overwhelming, the Biden administration continued to implement the Trump-era rule which they previously criticized, turning back most migrants.