The first female vice president in U.S. history, Kamala Harris, nearly six months after taking office, made her first overseas tour in that capacity. It passed through two Central American countries traditionally considered by Washington as its “backyard.
It has been causing more and more problems for the White House, the most acute of which lately has been the migration issue. This is the topic that Democrat Joseph Biden actively exploited during the last presidential election, generously promising the Hispanic electorate a revision of former President Donald Trump’s harsh anti-illegal immigration policies. As a result, once in power and faced with endless streams of refugees, Biden’s team is urgently seeking a way out of a national security threat.
Axios reported Tuesday that the number of illegal migrants seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border was the highest in 15 years and that the number of people apprehended in April (nearly 180,000) broke a 20-year record. As estimated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), from last October to May alone, almost a million Latin American refugees tried to cross into America, which has not been seen since 2006. The lion’s share of illegal immigrants literally comes from neighboring Mexico (more than 40 percent) and the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
In fact, this fact predetermined the geography and purpose of a two-day trip abroad by Camala Harris. According to Politico, the June 7-8 visit to Guatemala and Mexico was designed not so much to cement Harris’s claim to leadership on the international stage, but to begin to actually solve the migration problem, which has become a real nightmare for the current U.S. Democratic administration. In the end, as curious as it sounds from the lips of Harris, herself raised in a family of immigrants from Jamaica and India, her main message in Guatemala City and Mexico City to potential seekers of a better life was a call to not even try to get into North America. “I want to be frank with the people in the region who are thinking about making this dangerous trek to the U.S.-Mexico border. Don’t come. Don’t come. I think if you come to our border, you will be turned back,” the U.S. vice president said in Guatemala’s capital city.
And this despite the fact that during the last presidential election dark-skinned Harris, who was specially selected to be in tandem with Joseph Biden to “dip” votes of immigrants and minorities, spoke in a completely different tone. During last year’s campaign, she fully supported Biden’s liberalization of the immigration agenda and applauded one of her boss’s first executive orders to stop construction of Trump’s “wall,” a 1,000-kilometer fence at the border with Mexico to stem the flow of illegals.
“Ms. Harris reflected the White House’s current position that most of those who cross the border will be returned and will have to seek legal avenues or protection closer to their countries,” The New York Times noted.
The number of illegals seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border was the highest in 15 years
At the same time as the trip of Kamala Harris, Washington announced the creation of Task Force Alpha, which will fight the criminals in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries, specializing in the illegal trafficking of migrants. The emphasis on enforcement measures in defeating border gangs, strengthening law enforcement of Latin American partners to combat corruption and targeted humanitarian aid – all this, coupled with the actual revision of some of Biden’s campaign promises on migration, will help, as his administration believes, curb the problem with an unprecedented influx of illegals in recent years. However, U.S. human rights activists and pro-immigrant NGOs, by contrast, are unhappy with Washington’s tougher immigration policies and the blatant violation of Biden’s campaign promises in this area.