The White House announced that Kamala Harris will lead the U.S. delegation to Honduras to attend the inauguration of President-elect Xiomara Castro. The inauguration is scheduled for January 27. The trip is meant to develop a partnership between the new president and the vice-president, a follow-up to a December 10 phone call on the topics of advancing economic growth, fighting corruption, and addressing the root causes of migration.
Another “root causes” trip to the Northern Triangle, Kamala? The first trip was nothing but an embarrassment, a complete failure ending with Kamala’s feckless advice to those planning to migrate to America, “Don’t come.” Needless to say, no one listened to her. Illegal migration continues to this day in record numbers at the southern border. I would give you the specific numbers but the Biden administration has chosen to ignore a Congressional deadline to release the latest numbers. That tells us the numbers must be bad. Releasing the report isn’t a suggestion, it’s required of the administration, any administration, not just this one. It’s nothing new. The president who promised a return to normal thinks normal means he and his administration can do as they please.
Proof of Kamala’s failure as the border czar is the newly organized caravan of about 600 migrants from Honduras, Nicaragua, and Cuba. The caravan left Saturday from the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. Nice work, Kamala. They set out walking toward the Guatemalan border. A smaller group soon joined them. About 300 migrants were stopped at the Guatemalan border and are being sent back to Honduras.
Last July the administration put forth a five-pronged approach to dealing with Northern Triangle countries. The bottom line was that the U.S. would send more taxpayer dollars and squeeze major corporations to make commitments to investing in those countries so that people would have jobs and better living conditions, thus less desire to leave for the United States. Kamala speaks about root causes, which is a long term strategy, not a short term plan that eases the chaos on the southern border currently being experienced in border states. She would be more effective if she did her job and dealt with what is in front of her right now. Returning to policies put in place by the previous administration and sending back illegal migrants sends a strong message – the one Kamala tried to deliver during her first trip to Central America – don’t come.
That is what a competent administration would do. The Biden administration, however, has shown itself to be incompetent in all areas, including national security and protecting the southern border. I’ve written many times about Kamala’s inability to embrace the job Sleepy Joe gave her to manage the Biden border crisis and nothing has changed since the last time I wrote about it. She took one brief trip to El Paso for photo ops and called it a visit to the border. The epicenter of the Biden border crisis in in the Rio Grande Valley, as she well knows.
Will a new president in Honduras make a difference? This one is a far-left woman like Kamala so maybe they will team up and ignore the illegal migration to the United States together. Xiomara Castro will want the money being promised to her country, though, so perhaps some warm and fuzzy statement of mutual cooperation will come from Kamala’s visit. Last month the Biden administration pledged to invest $750M in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. That pledge is part of a $1.2B investment over several years aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and coffee farmers. Pledges from major corporations will go to creating manufacturing jobs.
Meanwhile, the caravans continue.
Fabricio Ordoñez, a young Honduran laborer, said he had joined the group in hopes of “giving a new life to my family.”
“The dream is to be in the United States to be able to do many things in Honduras,” he said, adding he was pessimistic that left-leaning President-elect Xiomara Castro, who takes office on Jan. 27, would be able to quickly solve the Central American nation’s economic and social problems after 12 years of conservative administrations plagued by scandal.
“They have looted everything,” he said. “It is going to be very hard for this government to improve things.”
Nicaraguan marcher Ubaldo López expressed hope that local officials would not try to hinder this group, as they have in the past.
“We know this is a very hard road and we ask God and the Honduran government to please accompany us to the border with Guatemala and not put more roadblocks,” he said.
It remains to be seen if Kamala’s trip will actually provide results. It is reported that President-elect Castro “allegedly shares common ground with the US government in areas of immigration, drug trafficking and corruption.” Some analysts say that it would be diplomatically useful to have a productive relationship with Honduras. Perhaps the officials in Guatemala are beginning to step up and doing what they can do to stop the caravans.
After several hours of travel Saturday, some migrants managed to cross into Guatemala through illegal border crossings, while several hundred were stuck on the Honduran side of the border because they did not have money to pay the roughly $50 for a PCR test for coronavirus demanded by authorities.
The general director of the Guatemalan Institute of Migration, Carlos Emilio Morales, said “people are being returned, everything is in order, humanely.” He did not provide further details.
“We are protecting our borders, we are protecting the health of all Guatemalans,” Morales said.
There isn’t word yet on how long Kamala’s trip will be. Perhaps she will stop by the U.S. southern border on her way back to D.C. and see what is going on for herself in the Rio Grande Valley. Nah. Never mind. She can’t handle the truth. Migrants believed Biden when he said our borders would be open to them. Border Patrol reports that there were 1.6 million encounters with migrants along the Mexican border between September 2020 and the same month in 2021. That is an increase by more than four times what the total was in the previous fiscal year. That doesn’t include the December numbers which we still haven’t received from the administration.