OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Kamala Harris’ first overseas trip to Guatemala is off to a terrible start.
First, Air Force 2 had to turn around and land because of a “technical issue.”
Then, Harris got embarrassed during a press conference with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.
Giammattei reminded Harris to put on a face mask as she walked away from the lectern – and she obeyed.
Guatemalan President reminds fully-vaccinated VP Harris to wear a mask after joint press conference pic.twitter.com/o6hok18SGI
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 7, 2021
When Harris sat down Monday with the president of Guatemala, there was no doubt the two had plenty of ground to cover.
They could start with why Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei has publicly disparaged the Harris and Joe Biden’s excuses for the illegal immigration crisis plaguing the southern border.
Because to Giammattei, the problem started in the White House.
And judging by the joint news conference he and Harris conducted on Monday, that message hasn’t gotten through nearly far enough.
In an interview conducted Friday that aired Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Giammattei made clear that he viewed the change of presidential administrations north of the Rio Grande for the surge of illegal migration from Central America and other nations, fostered by the human-smugglers known as “coyotes.”
In the interview, conducted in both Spanish and English, Giammattei said after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the message from the U.S. had changed from the rigid anti-illegal immigration stance of former President Donald Trump to a much more welcoming attitude.
“The message changed to, ‘We are going to reunite families and we are going to reunite children,’” Giammattei said.
“The very next day the coyotes here were organizing groups of children to take them to the United States.”
This trip comes as Harris has been dragged for months about her failure to visit the Southern border or Central American nations.
Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott tore into Kamala Harris last month for her continued “failure” and refusal to visit the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a statement released to his website, Scott slammed Harris for only “flying over the border at 35,000 feet” while she met with other world leaders instead of addressing the Biden border crisis.
“Today, Senator Rick Scott released the following statement after Vice President Harris announced she will take her first international trip next month to meet with the presidents of Guatemala and Mexico – flying over the actual crisis on the United States southern border,” Scott said.
“Harris has still refused to visit the U.S. southern border to see the crisis caused by Biden’s open borders and amnesty policies firsthand. Last week, Senator Scott announced his intention to hold President Biden’s nominees to fill positions at the Department of Homeland Security until the president honors his commitment and visits the border and confronts the dangerous national security threat and humanitarian crisis he has created there,” he continued.
Flying over the border at 35,000 feet doesn’t count as a visit. Now, 123 days since taking office, it’s shocking to see the lengths to which President Biden and Vice President Harris will go to avoid seeing the border crisis for themselves,” he said.
He continued: “Apprehensions at the border rose above 178,000 in April alone, nearly 6,000 a day. This is about the safety of American families. We must secure the border now.”
“While I welcome cooperation with Guatemala and Mexico, Biden and Harris have still not acknowledged the humanitarian and national security chaos their policies have created here in America,” Scott declared.
“They still refuse to actually go to the U.S. southern border, hear from our brave Customs and Border Protection agents and see the U.S. side of this crisis that their failed amnesty and open borders policies have created. It’s time for Harris and Biden to get down to the U.S. border and provide answers to the American people,” he concluded.