The us will send a further $310 million in aid to the Northern Triangle countries and train a Guatemalan “task force” in an attempt to upend the migrant crisis overwhelming authorities at the southern border, vice chairman Kamala Harris announced.The announcement came during a statement Monday from Harris’ chief spokeswoman and senior adviser Symone Sanders after the VP’s meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.
“In light of the dire situation and acute suffering faced by many people in El Salvador , Guatemala, and Honduras, vice chairman Harris announced a further $310 million in U.S. government support for humanitarian relief and to deal with food insecurity,” some of Sanders’ statement read.
Of the $310 million, $255 million will go toward humanitarian relief while $55 million will address food insecurity within the region.In addition to the help , Sanders said Harris and Giammattei “committed to strengthen bilateral efforts to manage migration,” specifically noting that Guatemala planned to “increase the amount of border security personnel and strengthen and enhance safeguards at its northern and southern borders.”
The two would also work toward opening migrant resource centers in Guatemala and “provide services for people seeking lawful pathways of migration also as those in need of protection, asylum referrals, and refugee resettlement.”As a part of the trouble to reinforce safeguards, the US agreed to send 16 Department of Homeland Security employees to coach members of a Guatemalan task force protecting the country’s borders.
“On border security, what was discussed was the establishment of a joint task force for border protection,” Guatemalan secretary of state Pedro Brolo said. “The U.S. government offered training.”The US also will help with transitioning migrants back to life within the communities they were returned to, agreeing to create shelters within the Central American country.
The Biden administration’s undoing of former President Donald Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.Central Americans trying to find refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — have taken these policy moves, also because the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a symbol that President Biden is inviting them to cross the border.
Insisting that the border wasn't facing a crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in early March that the issues the agency faced should be blamed on the previous administration.The data, however, overwhelmingly shows that migrants were flooding the border because they believed Biden would welcome them with open arms.
Late last month, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador blamed the new president for the crisis, arguing that the “expectations” he set left migrants with the perception that they might be let into the US.As the crisis heated , Biden tapped his vice chairman to deal with the diplomatic measures associated with its “root causes.”
Speaking to reporters earlier this month while hosting a roundtable of experts on the Northern Triangle countries, Harris explained why she planned to visit those countries but to not the US border.On Tuesday, Harris will participate during a virtual roundtable hosted by the US Embassy in Guatemala City with “representatives from Guatemalan community-based organizations.”
The meeting “will underscore the importance of placing the Guatemalan people at the middle of solutions to root causes of migration.”Harris, who confirmed last week she was planning a visit to the region, but not the US border itself, is additionally narrowing down a date for the visit, the White House said last Wednesday.