Kamala Harris to Discuss Migrant Surge With Guatemala’s President

Vice President Kamala Harris will speak with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on Monday to discuss the migrant surge at the southern border, Harris’s office said Wednesday night.

Harris, whom President Joe Biden picked to oversee the administration’s diplomatic response to the influx, plans to visit the region in June, according to a senior White House official.

The vice president, according to her spokesperson, Symone Sanders, will discuss relief for Guatemala with Giammattei and ways to deepen cooperation with his government on migration.

The call and the date of the planned trip were reported earlier by Axios. Harris on Tuesday will also participate in a virtual meeting with community groups in Guatemala.

Harris last spoke with the Guatemalan president on March 30 after Biden chose her to lead negotiations with Central American governments on curbing migration.

More than 172,000 migrants were apprehended at the southwest border in March, the highest number in roughly two decades. The influx has caused a political and humanitarian crisis for Biden, who has said that the U.S. must address so-called “root causes” of migration such as poverty and violence in Central America to solve the problem.

Congressional Republicans as well as former President Donald Trump say Biden’s reversal of Trump’s hard-line immigration policies encouraged more border crossings, a charge the administration rejects.

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