The vice president warned people they would be turned back at the border….reports Asian Lite News
Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday urged would-be migrants in Guatemala not to try to enter the United States illegally, media reported.
Speaking on her first overseas trip since taking office, she said the journey north was dangerous and would mainly benefit people smugglers, the BBC reported.
The vice president warned people they would be turned back at the border.
In a news conference alongside Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, she warned against illegal migration to the US, saying: “Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders.”
“If you come to our border, you will be turned back,” BBC quoted Harris as saying.
Harris said she wanted the US and Guatemala to “work together” to find solutions to “long-standing problems”.
“It must be coupled with relationships of trust. It must be coupled with tangible outcomes, in terms of what we do as leaders to convince people that there is a reason to be hopeful about their future and the future of their children,” Harris was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, President Giammattei defended his government’s own record of fighting corruption and said the fight against drug trafficking should be an key part of tackling the issue.
The vice president arrived in Guatemala City following a technical issue with her aircraft that delayed the departure.
Harris was welcomed by Foreign Affairs Pedro Brolo ans US Ambassador to Guatemala William Popp at about 6.30 p.m., on Sunday.
Less than half an hour after taking off from a military airfield near Washington, the government plane Harris was travelling on had to return to the airport in order to be changed out, according to spokeswoman Symone Sanders.
“It is a technical issue. There are no major safety concerns,” she said.
Sanders later told reporters that the Air Force Two crew noticed an issue with the landing gear, which was not storing as it should, adding that the plane turned around “out of an abundance of caution”.
Harris’ official visit to Guatemala and Mexico on Monday and Tuesday will focus on migration and economic cooperation.
President Joe Biden has tasked Harris with taking the lead on curbing migration to the US.