Can Kamala clinch a deal to secure the border? VP lands in Mexico for crunch meeting with president she has been courting for months

 Vice President Kamala Harris has landed in Mexico for a crunch meeting with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who she has been couring for months.

The Tuesday meeting will close out Harris' first foreign trip, with President Biden's administration hoping it will help in its efforts to curb the spike in migration from Central America and secure the southern border.

While Lopez Obrador committed in a previous virtual meeting with Harris that the U.S. can 'count on us' to help address the issue of irregular migration, the Mexican president has in the past blamed Biden for the increase in migration at the border. 

And he was chummy with his predecessor, President Donald Trump, despite Trump's hardline polcies towards migrants.

Early last month, he also accused the U.S. of violating Mexico's sovereignty for giving money to non-governmental organizations that were critical of his government.

But Harris, in her role dealing with the root causes of increased migration from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as Mexico, has sought to strengthen diplomatic relations with the Mexican president.

Vice President Kamala Harris has landed in Mexico for a crunch meeting with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who she has been couring for months. Pictured: Harris disembarks from Air Force Two as she arrives at Benito Juarez International airport in Mexico City, for her first international trip as Vice President to Guatemala and Mexico, in Mexico June 7

Vice President Kamala Harris has landed in Mexico for a crunch meeting with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who she has been couring for months. Pictured: Harris disembarks from Air Force Two as she arrives at Benito Juarez International airport in Mexico City, for her first international trip as Vice President to Guatemala and Mexico, in Mexico June 7

Harris - who was tasked by Biden to work with Central American countries to stem the flow of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border - was pictured disembarking from Air Force Two in Mexico City late on Monday.

As she stepped off the plane, she was met by Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard ahead of her meeting with Mexicos president on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in pictures from outside the U.S. consulate in the border city of Tijuana, protesters were seen demonstrating against Harris' visit to Mexico, with some holding signs calling for 'no intervention of the United States in Mexico'.

Harris has held multiple phone calls and a virtual bilateral meeting with Lopez Obrador, and Tuesday will provide the latest indication of whether her efforts will bear fruit for either nation.


'We have a partnership, a longstanding partnership. Other than Canada, we are the closest neighbors to each other,' Harris told reporters Monday night. 

'That is the basis of the conversation I will have with him - is with that spirit, that we have to be partners.'

The meeting follows Harris' Monday visit to Guatemala, where she met with President Alejandro Giammattei. 

To coincide with their meeting the Biden administration announced a number of new commitments to combat trafficking, smuggling, and corruption, as well as investments in economic development in the country.

Speaking there on Monday, Harris finally revealed that she does not plan to visit the southern border because it would just be a 'grand gesture' as opposed to a genuine trip - as she warned illegal migrants they are not welcome in the U.S. 

Pictured: Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted by Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard as she steps off the plane upon arrival at Benito Juarez International airport in Mexico City. The Tuesday with Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador meeting will close out Harris' first foreign trip, with President Biden's administration hoping it will help in its efforts to curb the spike in migration and secure the southern border

Pictured: Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted by Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard as she steps off the plane upon arrival at Benito Juarez International airport in Mexico City. The Tuesday with Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador meeting will close out Harris' first foreign trip, with President Biden's administration hoping it will help in its efforts to curb the spike in migration and secure the southern border

But on Tuesday, her meeting with Lopez Obrador isn't expected to deliver as many concrete commitments.

The two will witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding that will establish greater cooperation between the two nations on development programs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. 

Harris aides say they'll discuss vaccine sharing, the economic and security relationship between the two nations, and dealing with the root causes of migration from other countries in the region. 

Harris speaks frequently of the need to improve economic conditions for residents of the region, so they don't feel compelled to make the trek to the U.S. border.

The memorandum of understanding, according to special envoy Ricardo Zuniga, who traveled with Harris on the trip, marks a new level of cooperation, and is important because the two nations have 'some of the same issues' when it comes to irregular migration.

'It's very important to show that the United States and Mexico are collaborating and trying to improve conditions on the ground among our neighbors, because of the importance that other countries in Central America have for both of us,' he told reporters traveling with Harris.

Pictured: Migrants and pro-migrants advocates demonstrate at the US Consulate in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico on June 7, 2021. - Demonstrators asked US government to stop its 'intervention' in Mexico and a better treatment for migrants ahead of US Vice President Kamala Harris visit to Mexico City

Pictured: Migrants and pro-migrants advocates demonstrate at the US Consulate in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico on June 7, 2021. - Demonstrators asked US government to stop its 'intervention' in Mexico and a better treatment for migrants ahead of US Vice President Kamala Harris visit to Mexico City

Harris will spend the rest of the day meeting with female entrepreneurs and labor leaders in the nation.

The meeting comes just days after the country's midterm elections, during which Lopez Obrador´s party appeared poised to maintain their majority in Mexico´s lower chamber of the congress, but fell short of a two-thirds majority as some voters boosted the struggling opposition, according to initial election results.

Harris is not expected to address the election results during her meeting with the president, but the bloody campaign - nearly three-dozen candidates or pre-candidates were killed as drug cartels sought to protect their interests - are certain to loom over their conversations.

The government´s inability to provide security in parts of the country is of interest to the U.S. in an immigration context, both for the people who are displaced by violence and the impact it has on a severely weakened economy trying to reemerge from the pandemic.

Still, while aides say corruption was a central focus of her meeting with Giammattei, it's unclear whether she'll raise the issue with Lopez Obrador.

But the increase in migration at the border has become one of the major challenges confronting Biden in the early months of his first term, with Republicans seizing on an issue they see as politically advantageous as polling suggests Americans are less favorable towards Biden´s approach to immigration than they are towards his policies on the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic.

They've tried to make Harris the face of that immigration policy, charging she and Biden with ignoring the issue because both have yet to visit the southern border.

 
Can Kamala clinch a deal to secure the border? VP lands in Mexico for crunch meeting with president she has been courting for months Can Kamala clinch a deal to secure the border? VP lands in Mexico for crunch meeting with president she has been courting for months Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:20 Rating: 5

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