Migrant crisis could bring 1 million people to US-Mexico border, warns Guatemalan activist

The failure of the Biden administration to adequately resolve the crisis at the US-Mexico border could result in significantly more people trying to enter the United States, warns an anti-corruption activist in Guatemala, according to a report.

“You will have 1 million people at the border,” activist Manfredo Marroquin, who met Vice President Kamala Harris during his visit to Central America earlier this year, told the Los Angeles Times.

To get a feel for what that would mean, the recent incident that strained local resources in Del Rio, Texas after large groups of people gathered under a bridge involved around 15,000 migrants.

Marroquin argued that the “root causes” of migration, which Harris has pledged to address in his role as the Biden administration’s responsible for the US response to the migrant crisis, have only served worsen since Harris’ visit in June, according to the report.

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He called for a greater commitment from the United States to resolve the issue, The Times reported.

Harris identified one of the root causes of migration as government corruption in countries like Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, whose citizens make up a large portion of the migrants who attempt to enter the United States from the United States. start of the crisis.

A fighter of corruption fired

But just six weeks after Harris’ visit to Guatemala in June, the country’s attorney general sacked the country’s leading anti-corruption prosecutor, Juan Francisco Sandoval, who has since moved to Washington, the Times reported.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei are seen at the National Palace in Guatemala City, June 7, 2021.
(Associated press)

Before fleeing, Sandoval had gathered evidence allegedly implicating Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei in a bribery scheme, The New York Times reported. A new investigation into the country’s president has since been opened, the newspaper reported.

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Giammattei was among the Central American leaders with whom Harris negotiated in his efforts to address the migrant crisis. The Vice-President spoke by phone with Giammattei in March, then met him in June during her visit.

Prior to Harris’ arrival in Guatemala, Giammattei had dismissed the “root cause” narrative, instead accusing the Biden administration’s policies, different from those of the Trump administration, of drawing people north.

“The message has become ‘We will reunite the families, we will reunite the children”, Giammattei told CBS News at the time. “The very next day the coyotes were here organizing groups of children to take them to the United States.

No long-term goal?

Eric L. Olson, an expert on Central America, told the Los Angeles Times that he was concerned that the failure of the Biden administration to move forward on root causes, coupled with political pressure from critics, could lead the White House to finally abandon the project. problem.

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“We don’t have a long-term goal,” Olson argued. “We are constantly solving problems and then we walk away when we think we solved the problems, or we get bored with the area and we walk away.”

In the short term, Harris is spearheading a plan that provides $ 4 billion in U.S. taxes to help fund social and economic programs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras aimed at winning over the citizens of those countries to stay in their country of origin rather than trying to enter the United States, the LA Times reported.

Harris has also sought donations for the program from Ireland, Finland, Japan and South Korea, according to the report.

Fox News’s Adam Shaw contributed to this story.


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