It’s about countering human trafficking and migrant smuggling, The Hill reported
The Biden administration will announce new measures on Monday to combat human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants, coinciding with US Vice-President Kamala Harris’s trip to Guatemala and Mexico (7-8 June), her first overseas trip in her current post. The Hill newspaper reported this on Sunday evening, quoting an unnamed senior US administration official.
“In addition to a comprehensive approach to solving many problems, [there will be] also an integrated approach to building our partnership”, – the newspaper quoted the spokesperson as telling reporters accompanying Harris on her trip. – “Among the efforts that have already been made [in this regard], the vice president met with [agency] leaders a fortnight ago and urged them to take action.”
According to the spokesperson, Harris has a vision of how to address the issue of mass migration, including engaging UN capacities and resources. He clarified that the vice president’s trip should not be expected to announce new plans to provide additional assistance. “We want to focus on the assistance and support that we are already providing,” he said.
The administration spokesman added that Harris also intends to discuss corruption in governments of countries where migrants are fleeing, but did not elaborate on how the vice president plans to do so during the tour. The administration official stressed that Harris has developed a “good relationship” with the presidents of Guatemala and Mexico, so the upcoming meetings will not take the form of a “tough talk”.
In March, President Biden gave Harris responsibility for handling the country’s migration problems, which have become, according to local media reports, a major “headache” for the new administration. According to US Customs and Border Protection, the number of illegal migrants apprehended at the US-Mexico border in April was 178,622, the highest monthly total in 20 years. The White House is trying to shift responsibility for such a disastrous situation to Donald Trump’s previous administration, but this has not saved it from fierce criticism. Harris will reportedly try to involve Central American governments in tackling the problem during his tour.The Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish militaries launch the Arctic Challenge international military exercise