Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2021. 10:43 am CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The United States will increase help to the Northern Triangle countries and improve cooperation to curb increasing illegal migration to the US said US vice president Kamala Harris in virtual meeting with Guatemalan president Alejandro Giammattei on Monday.
Harris said the US is aware that the COVID-19 pandemic, hurricanes, and extreme drought provoked by climate change have worsened the economic situation which has spiked the migration flow to the Unites States but emphasized that opportunities have to be given to the people of the Northern Triangle countries to encourage them to stay home.
“We want to work with you to address both the acute causes as well as the root causes, in a way that will bring hope to the people of Guatemala that there will be an opportunity for them if they stay at home,” Harris said according to Guatemalan daily Prensa Libre.
Harris was charged by US president Biden to oversee the US measures to stem migration from Central America and Mexico. Prior to today’s virtual meeting with Giammattei, Harris has also had a virtual meeting with Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador to deal with the same matter.
Harris said to Giammattei that while the US will help Guatemala and the other countries economically to keep their people at home, fundamental factors such as poverty, violence, lack of opportunities and good governance need to be improved.
Prensa Libre reported that Harris also said that illegal migration is exacerbated by violence against women, indigenous people, people of sexual diversity, and afro-descendants.
To that end, the US president promised that the US will increase economic assistance to the region’s countries to better “manage migration in an effective, secure and humane manner.”
Giammattei expressed confidence that the consolidation of opportunities that allow the people to stay at home and that working together as partners with the United States should help in the fight against poverty which is “the origin of the many evils that affect our country.”
“We should propose a roadmap that leads to an agreement between our governments and we should be able to count on you on issues that we need strengthening,” Giammattei said according to Prensa Libre.
“We should fight to preserve the lives of all Guatemalans because we all have the right to live in equality of conditions,” said Giammattei.
Harris told Giammattei that she intends to visit the region in June.
Meanwhile, she plans to meet virtually with representatives of the Guatemalan community in the Unites States next Tuesday to learn first-hand from them their concerns and ideas because working together requires more than just political goodwill.
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