Harris Plans Visits to Mexico, Guatemala Amid Migrant Surge

Vice President Kamala Harris said she plans to travel to Mexico and Guatemala as part of her new role overseeing the administration’s response to a surge of migrants on the southern U.S. border.

“I’m looking forward to traveling -- hopefully as my first trip -- to the Northern Triangle, stopping in Mexico and Guatemala,” Harris told reporters Wednesday during a round-table discussion at the White House with immigration policy experts.

Harris didn’t say when she plans to take the trip.

The Biden administration is struggling to handle the flood of migrants from primarily Central American countries who are crossing the border with Mexico at the highest numbers in nearly two decades. Republicans have blamed President Joe Biden’s rhetoric and policies for fueling the influx, a claim the White House denies.

Biden last month picked Harris to coordinate the U.S. government’s response, an effort to show the administration is taking the situation seriously. Harris said she plans to focus on “root causes” in Central American countries that prompt would-be migrants to leave, such as poverty and violence.

On Monday, the U.S. announced that it had secured agreements with Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras to step up the presence of security forces along their borders to stop migrants from coming to the U.S.

The White House also said last Friday that Roberta Jacobson, the administration’s southwest border coordinator, would leave her post at month’s end after pledging to serve for Biden’s first 100 days.

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