LIVE: Kamala Harris Holds News Conference in Mexico City

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “LIVE: Kamala Harris Holds News Conference in Mexico City” – below is their description.

    (June 8) Watch live as Vice President Kamala Harris delivers remarks and takes questions from the media during a news conference in Mexico City on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

    Harris said she’ll visit the U.S. southern border but urged American lawmakers to focus on the causes of mass migration from Central America, deflecting Republican criticism after meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday.

    “It would be very easy to just say we’ll travel to one place and therefore it’s solved. Well, I don’t think anybody thinks that that would be the solution,” Harris told reporters traveling with her in Mexico on Tuesday.

    “I’ve been to the border before. I will go again. But when I’m in Guatemala dealing with root causes, I think we should have a conversation about what’s going on in Guatemala,” she said.

    Harris is on the second full day of a trip to the region as part of her assignment from President Joe Biden to lead a U.S. government effort to curb a historic increase in migration from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Harris earlier Tuesday defended her approach, saying in an NBC News interview that there is “not going to be a quick fix” for the flow of people to the U.S. southern border.

    During her trip, she’s repeatedly been asked about Republican criticism that she has yet to visit the border with Mexico as vice president. In an interview with NBC News broadcast Monday evening, she replied tersely to the question.

    “And I haven’t been to Europe,” she said. “And I mean, I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”

    On Tuesday, she gave a fuller explanation, describing her diplomatic efforts as vital to identify the causes of migration and build partnerships with the leaders of countries migrants are fleeing.

    “You can’t say you care about the border without caring about the root causes, caring about the acute causes, which include the fact you’re looking at populations particularly from Central America who are plagued by hunger and the devastation caused by the hurricanes and of course the effect of the pandemic,” she said, referring to a pair of powerful hurricanes that struck Central America late last year. They did particular damage to the agriculture industry, a major employer.

    “So, let’s approach this in a way that acknowledges there are many factors and as with any intractable issue, we cannot be simplistic and assume that there is only one element or one way of approaching the overall problem,” she said.

    Harris and the Mexican leader, known as AMLO, observed in Mexico City as officials from their respective governments signed an agreement to cooperate on development programs aimed at improving economic conditions in Central America.

    Underscoring the political challenge she faces, Harris also came under fire from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a prominent Democrat from New York, and human-rights groups that expressed disappointment at her warning to migrants not to make the journey to the U.S.

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