Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday claimed that a lack of “climate adaptation and climate resilience” in Northern Triangle countries was one of the root causes of the migration crisis at the southern U. S. border — along with a list of other issues including violence and government corruption.
Republicans have pointed to the rolling back of Trump-era border protections like construction of the border wall and the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) for the surge in migration at the southern border this year — which has left the Biden administration scrambling to house them, and has seen migrants being released into the interior without court dates.
But the White House has doubled down on its emphasis on root causes such as violence and poverty for the reason for the surge. Harris, who has gone 41 days without a press conference on the border since being given the task of leading the diplomatic effort with Mexico and Central America, has repeatedly made a similar emphasis.
On Tuesday, in a speech to the Washington Conference on the Americas, she made a distinction between “acute causes” such as drought, food insecurity and COVID-19 and “long-standing” root causes.
“I’m thinking of corruption, violence and poverty, the lack of economic opportunity, the lack of climate adaptation and climate resilience, the lack of good governance,” she said.
While she didn’t immediately go into details, she later spoke of delivering food, shelter and water to the people of Honduras, and, in Guatemala, working with farmers to plant drought-resistant crops and help women farmers increase their crops.