Harris meets with Mexican president amid criticism over migrant remarks, lack of border visit
Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday was meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as part of a two-day tour to the region to tackle what the Biden administration describes as the "root causes" of the crisis at the southern border -- as she faces criticism for failing to visit the border and remarks a day earlier on illegal migration.
Harris, who was appointed more than 70 days ago by President Biden to lead the diplomatic effort to stop the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, met with Lopez Obrador on Tuesday afternoon ahead of a press conference later in the day. After a bilateral meeting at the National Palace in Mexico City, the pair announced they had agreed to expand collaboration on a range of economic and security issues.
June 8, 2021: Vice President Kamala Harris and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador arrive for a bilateral meeting at the National Palace in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
While critics have blamed the recent crisis at the border on the Biden rollback of key Trump-era policies like the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and border wall construction, the administration has instead pointed to root causes in Central America like poverty, an economic downturn and climate change.
Included in the agreements were a number of elements apparently designed to combat those root causes and other contributing factors, including a $130 million U.S. investment in Mexican workers’ protections and labor reform.
"The Vice President announced new U.S. commitments to foster investment in southern Mexico, including loans for affordable housing, support to strengthen rural value chains in cacao, coffee, and eco-tourism, trade and business development missions to support infrastructure projects, and aviation regulatory support to improve efficiencies," the White House said in a statement.
The agreement also includes partnering to address human trafficking and smuggling organizations, increased support for Mexican law enforcement and -- to address root causes of migration in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador -- a "new strategic partnership to share information and strategies and co-manage new programs to foster economic opportunity through agricultural development and youth empowerment."..................https://www.foxnews.com/politics/harris-mexican-president-migrant-remarks-lack-border-visit