Vice president Harris spearheads diplomatic approach to solutions - News 11's Crystal Jimenez reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with President Giammattei of the Republic of Guatemala Monday, in hopes of tackling the crisis at the border from the root of the problem.
Vice President Harris discussed, via Zoom, how the people of Guatemala have suffered greatly due to recent hurricanes, a drought, and COVID-19. But even before this, Guatemala still faced poverty, a lack of economic opportunities.
During the meeting the Vice President also said, corruption and the lack of good governance, and violence against women, indigenous people, LGBTQ people, and Afro-descendants have been a root cause of immigration. By working on these causes, the Vice President believes the people of Guatemala could have hope and decide to stay in their homeland.
Following her discussion with President Giammattei, Vice President Harris announced $310 million in U.S. government support to humanitarian relief and to be able to address food insecurity through El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Central America is where a majority of people are coming from when surrendering themselves at the border according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The White House announced $225 million would serve as humanitarian relief that would work to help with the impact of the drought, food shortages, and the COVID-19 pandemic. $55 million will help address food insecurity that would help strengthen that agricultural sector and help farmers rebuild their livelihoods in Guatemala. A portion of the funds will also expand access to daily meals and literacy activities to school children.
U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva applauded the move on the Biden Administrations part. He says, “Failing to address the root causes of migration and simply relying upon the enforcement-only approach pushed by former President Trump and Congressional Republicans won’t change anything, and we will continue seeing the current issues at the border for years to come." Rep. Grijalva continues, "Engaging with our partners in Central America to address issues such as public safety, corruption, economic issues, and the climate crisis are important for dealing with immigration issues before they reach out doorstep, and I’m pleased the Biden Administration also takes this seriously and with compassion.”
On the other hand U.S. Representative Paul Gosar believes more enforcement is necessary at the border.
"The surge in illegal immigrants trying to enter the country still rages and the crises created by Mr. Biden along the southern border continues. In fact, it appears to be getting worse because the Administration refuses to take action to address it." says Rep. Gosar. "It has now been more than four full weeks since Mrs. Harris was named Border Czar by Mr. Biden. Yet, she has not visited the border and has no plans to see the crisis unfolding as a result of the Biden Administration's policies. As far as I can tell, her only solution to the border crisis appears to be peddling her book to the illegal aliens as they cross over to the United States. "
Representative Tim Dunn agrees this move is a step in the right direction. By heading to the root cause he says many of those trying to come into the United States will avoid falling into the hands of the cartel who he claims has taken advantage of the border crisis.