After more than four months in office, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris both plan to leave the United States this week and make their administration’s first overseas trips.
Harris will leave the country first, scheduled to travel to Guatemala on Sunday for talks with President Alejandro Giammattei and other leaders on the “root causes” of migration.
From there, she is due to travel to Mexico on Monday night for similar talks with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his advisers before returning to Washington.
“Part of giving people hope is a very concrete commitment to eradicate corruption in the region,” Harris said recently, according to Bloomberg, referring to one of the many root causes of migration that she and her office have identified. Other causes include poverty and the effects of severe weather and natural disasters, they said.
In late March, the vice president assumed the role of manager of the Biden administration’s response to the migrant crisis along the US-Mexico border.
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Since taking on the mission, Harris has faced relentless criticism from Republicans – and some Democrats – for failing to visit border communities in the United States to learn more about the issues facing those communities. and border patrol officers working there face as migrants, many unaccompanied minors flood the area and deplete resources.
“Kamala Harris is expected to stop at the US border en route to Mexico and Guatemala tomorrow to see firsthand Biden’s record-breaking border crisis,” GOP President Ronna McDaniel wrote on Twitter Saturday night.
Harris and her supporters in Washington countered that the vice president’s role was always intended to be a diplomatic mission in which she would deal with foreign leaders instead of visiting American communities.
Although neither Biden nor Harris have visited border areas in the United States since taking office, the administration has sent other senior officials, such as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Home Security Secretary. Health and Social Services Xavier Becerra.
On Wednesday, it will be President Biden’s turn to represent the United States abroad. The President is expected to attend the G7 Economic Summit in Cornwall, UK, and then he and First Lady Jill Biden will meet Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.
The president’s itinerary also includes stops in Belgium for a NATO summit and a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – and a face-to-face meeting on June 16 with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden is leaving the country while facing his own share of criticism from Republicans.
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Writing on the Fox News website on Saturday, McDaniel pointed to Friday’s federal jobs report, which showed growth numbers 17% below expectations.
Other Republicans have taken Biden to task, saying he appeared weak in his dealings with Putin. They reported a recent ransomware attack by Russian hackers on a US fuel pipeline – coinciding with Biden’s recent decision to allow Putin to build his own pipeline to Europe.
“Biden’s decision… is more than a mixed message and botched decision-making,” US Senator Kevin Cramer, RN.D. recently wrote. “It is a threat to America’s national security. “