WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — On her first international trip in office, Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Guatemala Monday to discuss the spike migrants headed toward the United States’ southern border.
Harris and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced an agreement to launch a U.S.-led drug and human trafficking task force, as well as job growth investments in the Central American nation.
President Joe Biden in March tasked Harris with addressing the root causing of the growing problem. On Monday, she identified that root as corruption.
“We have to follow the money and we have to stop it,” she said in remarks delivered alongside Giammettei. “We will look to root out corruption wherever it exists because we know it is not in the best interest of a democracy.”
She said the U.S. Departments of Justice, Treasury and State will work with law enforcement in Guatemala to try to combat the flow of migrants.
“We can turn this country into a country of opportunity,” Giammettei said in Spanish.
In April alone, U.S. Border Patrol stopped more than 178,000 migrants traveling from Central America, the highest figure in more than two decades.
Republicans blame the immigration policies of the Biden-Harris administration.
“This is a crisis that the Biden administration has created,” Paris Dennard of the Republican National Committee said. “Everything they’re doing as it relates to this border crisis has been wrong. … And for 75 days, she has avoided going to the border; for 75 days, she has avoided having a press conference with the members of the press to actually address the crisis.”
Harris will head to Mexico Tuesday as part of her diplomatic mission. The White House insists she and Biden will make a trip to the southern border, but no date has been set.
In the meantime, Harris had a clear message for those considering making the dangerous journey: “Do not come.”