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US VP Harris to discuss migration surge with Guatemalan president

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WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 22: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate with 40 world leaders at the East Room of the White House April 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030. Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Central America in June and hold virtual talks next week with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on the migrant surge at the US border, the White House said Wednesday.

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Harris, tasked with spearheading President Joe Biden’s bid to resolve the long-running problem of uncontrolled migration over the US-Mexican border, will meet virtually with Giammattei on Monday.

“The two will discuss working together to address immediate relief needs of the Guatemalan people as well as deepening cooperation on migration,” the vice president’s spokeswoman Symone Sanders said.

Harris will take part by video in a roundtable on Tuesday with Guatemalan community organizations and discuss “solutions to root causes of migration,” Sanders said.

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A White House official said that additionally Harris “will travel to the region in June.”

The schedule raises the profile of Harris on one of the toughest-to-resolve issues facing the new Biden administration.

Unlike Republican Donald Trump, who emphasized physically stopping would-be immigrants from crossing the border, Biden and Harris have pledged to help regional governments address the poverty and violence driving people to make the difficult journey north in the first place.

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