Kamala Harris was greeted by protesters who demanded she “mind her own business” when she arrived in Guatemala for her first international trip as vice president.
“Kamala go home,” read a white flag with letters painted in black.
As the vice president rode in her motorcade from Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, reporters spotted a group of pro-Trump protesters chanting: “Kamala, Trump won” and “Kamala, mind your own business!”
Harris began her meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei with brief remarks, where she said, “I’ve been looking forward to this trip, we’ve had a lot of conversations, but it’s good to see you in person.”
The two have previously spoken by phone.
“I am very proud that this is my first overseas trip as vice president,” Harris continued. “It is a reflection of the priority President Biden has given to this region.”
As Harris embarked on her two-day journey south of the border, the family continues to flow to the US on foot or on inflatable rafts.
Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Guatemala was greeted with protesters who demanded she ‘mind your own business’
‘Kamala go home’ sign outside the Guatemalan Air Force facility
Harris arrived in Guatemala City on Sunday and held a bilateral meeting with President Alejandro Giammattei
Harris’s first foreign trip comes as migrants continue to risk their lives as they trek from Central America to the US’s southern border. Here, on June 7, 2021, people ride rafts on the Suchiate River between Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico and Tecun Uman, Guatemala
Harris’ journey got off to a bumpy start on Sunday when the Air Force was forced to turn around 2 minutes after takeoff due to “technical issues”, which appeared to be due to an unusual noise coming from the landing gear.
‘I’m good, I’m good. We’ve all prayed a little bit, but we’re good,” Harris told reporters as she got out of Air Force 2 and waited for another plane to finish.
The vice president’s team has made it clear that Harris’ role as a “border czar” is to address the “root causes” that cause a large number of Central American citizens to flee their homelands and migrate to the US
The Supreme Court sided with President Joe Biden and unanimously refused on Monday to allow immigrants allowed to stay in the US on humanitarian grounds to apply to become permanent residents if they entered the country illegally.
The judges, acting on an appeal from an El Salvador couple who had been granted so-called Temporary Protected Status, upheld a lower court ruling banning their applications for permanent residency, also known as a green card, because of their illegal entry. .
The case could affect 400,000 immigrants, many of whom have lived in the US for years.
The bilateral meeting between Harris, Giammattei and their team was held Palacio Nacional de la Cultura
Protesters urge Harris to ‘respect Guatemala’s constitution’
Biden, who has tried to roll back much of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump’s tough immigration policies, had opposed the immigrants in this case, putting the president at odds with immigration advocacy groups and some of his fellow Democrats.
The Biden administration is facing a massive crisis on its southern border, with a record number of illegal offenders and an unprecedented number of unaccompanied minors in US custody.
In March, Biden put Harris in charge of the migration crisis, but the government has still not identified the situation as such.
Since it appeared that the problem was not going anywhere on the southern border, the government quickly changed its name to indicate that Harris is focused on addressing the root causes leading to mass migration to the US from the countries of the northern region. triangle – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Reports indicate that the vice president’s office would not give her anything that could be seen as a failure on her part.
Since the takeover, Republicans have berated the vice president for not once visiting the southern border, where enforcement groups have been overwhelmed and facilities have reached nearly 2,000 percent capacity at some points.
Harris said she will head south of the border into Mexico on her journey, but insisted she still won’t stop on the US side of the border.
She has also spoken by telephone with Guatemalan President Giammattei and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Harris will meet with Giammattei on Monday and will then participate in events with Guatemalan community leaders and entrepreneurs.
On Tuesday, she will travel to Mexico City to meet President López Obrador and participate in roundtables with women entrepreneurs and union leaders in Mexico.