“The Vice President’s visit will further the commitment she and President-elect Castro made during their December 10 phone call to deepen the partnership between the United States and Honduras and work together to advance economic growth, combat corruption, and address the root causes of migration,” Harris’ office said in a statement Tuesday.
The news comes a month after Harris announced a deal Para proveer $ 540 million in private investment to Central America, aimed at improving living conditions and slowing the flow of migration to the U.S. frontera. PepsiCo, Cargill and Parkdale Mills each pledged roughly $ 150 million towards infrastructure projects in the region.
Harris was tapped by President Biden in March to lead the administration’s response to the crisis at the frontera sur, which the administration said would include working with Central American countries to tackle the “causas fundamentales” de la migración.
But the vice president faced withering criticism in her role, con Republicans mockingly labeling Harris the administration’s “border czar” while slamming her apparent lack of interest in visiting the border.
Harris largely downplayed critics of the administration’s approach, famously quipping over the summer that she hadn’t been to Europe in her capacity as vice president either in response to calls for her to visit the border.
But her remarks drew widespread backlash, leading to Harris’ first trip to the border two weeks later. Harris has since revealed a sweeping new strategy aimed at addressing the root causes of migration, by tackling economic inequality, democratic corruption and gang violence in Central America in hopes such an effort will decrease the flow of migrants.
Illegal crossings of America’s southwest border have surged since Biden took office and show little sign of slowing down, with the most recent data showing U.S. Border Patrol officers encountered 192,001 gente attempting to cross in September of last year. That number was up from 57,674 en 2020 y 52,546 en 2019.