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Failure by the Biden administration to adequately address the crisis at the US-Mexico border could result in a higher number of people trying to enter the US, an anti-corruption activist in Guatemala is warning, according to a report. .

“You would have 1 million people at the border,” activist Manfredo Maroquin, who met Vice President Kamala Harris on a visit to Central America earlier this year, told the Los Angeles Times in a story published Wednesday.

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To give an idea of ​​what this would mean, a recent event that strained local resources in Del Rio, Texas, occurred when large groups of people gathered under a bridge, including about 15,000 migrants.

Marroquin argued that the “root cause” of migration, which Harris has promised to tackle in his role as the Biden administration’s manager of the US response to the migrant crisis, has, according to the report, only been since Harris’ June visit. have deteriorated.

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He called for greater engagement by the US to address the problem, the Times reported.

Harris has identified one of the root causes of migration as government corruption in countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, whose citizens make up a large proportion of those migrants who have been trying to enter the US since the crisis began. trying.

Corruption fighter fired

But six weeks after Harris visited Guatemala in June, the country’s attorney general fired Juan Francisco Sandoval, the country’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, who has since relocated to Washington, D.C., the Times reported.

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

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Giammattei is among Central American leaders with whom Harris is in talks in his efforts to address the migrant crisis. The Vice President spoke to Giammattei over the phone in March and then met him during his visit in June.

Prior to Harris’s arrival in Guatemala, Giammattei had dismissed the story of “root causes” rather than blaming the Biden administration’s policies for pulling people north to differ from those of the Trump administration.

“The message turned to, ‘We’re going to reunite families, we’re going to reunite children,'” Giammattei told CBS News those days. “The very next day, the coyotes were here organizing groups to take the kids to the United States.”

No long term goals?

Eric L. Olson, an expert in Central America, told the Los Angeles Times that he is concerned that the Biden administration’s inability to move forward on the root causes, coupled with political pressure from critics, could eventually lead to the Biden White House giving up. Issue.

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

In the near term, Harris is leading a plan calling for $4 billion in US tax dollars to help pay for social and economic programs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras aimed at citizens of those countries. to persuade them to remain in their countries of origin. from trying to enter America, LA Times reported.

The report said Harris is also seeking donations from Ireland, Finland, Japan and South Korea for the programme.

Granthshala News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this story.