Harris says talks in Guatemala were robust, tells migrants: ‘do not come’

Cheryl Sanders
June 8, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris is in Guatemala to meet with President Alejandro Giammattei, and during their joint press conference Monday, the vice president said anyone thinking about making the unsafe trek to the US-Mexico border should not come.

Harris will also meet civil society leaders and entrepreneurs in Guatemala and then go to Mexico. Earlier, Harris' Air Force Two plane made an emergency landing at the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland after encountering engine trouble.

The plane landed safely and she gave a thumbs-up when she got off. "I know, as you do, that Guatemala is a country with incredible resources - historically and now - but there is work that we can do together to grow the capacity of those resources and to reach the people".

Her spokesman, Symone Sanders, told reporters traveling with Harris that there was a technical issue with the original plane but it caused "no major safety concerns".

"We had a robust, candid and thorough conversation", Harris said at the news conference after a three-hour meeting with Giammattei, who said they had discussed USA concerns about developments in Guatemala.

Meeting President Alejandro Giammattei in Guatemala City, Harris said reducing undocumented migration from Central to North America was a priority for US President Joe Biden's administration.

Harris arrived in Guatemala first where she sat down with Giammattei on Monday. In Guatemala, the vice president met Guatemalan community leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs and greeted and thanked U.S. embassy staff.

"We had a robust, candid and thorough conversation", Harris said.

"I care about this and I care about what's happening at the border". In Mexico, Harris will participate in a conversation with female entrepreneurs, hold a roundtable with labor workers and greet United States mission Mexico staff.

Republicans, especially local lawmakers living along the border, have called on Harris to visit the area while she is in Mexico. "We've been to the border".

The ex-president even said he was "seriously considering" visiting the "totally open" border, which he says "criminals" are taking advantage of.

But she also took flak from fellow Democrats like U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said on Twitter she was disappointed by Harris's message to migrants.

Trump claimed that "criminals" including "rapists and murderers and drug dealers" were flooding into the U.S. because the border is "totally open". "I'm not discounting the importance of the border".

Since being named "border czar", Harris has been widely - and heavily - criticized for failing to visit the southern border.

"At some point, you know, we are going to the border", Harris replied.

Other reports by iNewsToday