VP Harris visits Mexico: ‘Illegal migration emanates from these nations’ concerns

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On a trip to Mexico on Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris stated that the US is dedicated to tackling the core causes of migration.

Harris met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico City to discuss immigration policy, and she expressed hope that she would be able to identify the factors that are driving migrants from Central America to cross the border into the United States.

“I want to be very clear that the problem at the border in large part, if not entirely, stems from the problems in these countries,” she said. “I cannot say it enough. Most people don’t want to leave home.”

 

Harris’ Mexico visit comes after she visited Guatemala on Monday, where she told Central Americans that “help is on the way” if illegal migration to the United States is to be curbed.

 

The vice president faced criticism for not traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border after being tasked with working to stem the flow of migration into the United States and assured she would do so in the future.

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“Listen, I’ve been to the border before, I will go again,” she said.

Harris said she chose to travel to Mexico and Guatemala as part of her first foreign trip since taking office in January to “understand why people leave.”

“If you want to address the needs of a people, you must meet those people. You must spend time with those people,” she said while addressing reporters after the meeting. “Because the only way we can actually fix the problem is to understand the problem.”

Lopez Obrador told reporters that the Mexican government was “very pleased” to have Harris visit, and that they would talk about border security as well as the “fundamental root causes” of migration.

Before the meeting, Harris tweeted that the US and Mexico “share history and family” and that their economy and national security are intertwined.

She told reporters that the notion of global interconnectedness was a recurring theme during her journey and that “we are entering a new era around the globe.”

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“The president and I feel strongly that what happens abroad matters to the people of the United States,” Harris said. “We believe not only in the importance — and to our national security and our economic security and our well-being — that it is critical that we work on and continue to reengage on our allies across the globe. We understand those relationships have an impact to us domestically.”

President Joe Biden put Harris in charge of the migrant surge at the southern border. The number of migrants this year is already the most since 2006, according to preliminary Customs and Border Protection data.

Harris is expected to return to Washington, D.C., after completing the visit to Mexico.

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