Vice President Kamala Harris has told potential migrants not to come to the US during her visit to Guatemala.
Ms Harris had initially offered an optimistic outlook for improved cooperation with Guatemala on addressing the spike in migration to the US.
During her first foreign trip as vice president, Ms Harris said her goal “is to help Guatemalans find hope at home”.
“At the same time, I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come, do not come,” she added.
Her comments underscored the challenge that remains even as she engages in substantive talks with the Guatemalan and Mexican presidents during a three-day visit to the region this week.
In conjunction with Ms Harris’s trip, the Biden administration announced that the Justice Department would create an anti-corruption task force and an additional task force to combat human trafficking and drug smuggling in the region.
Ms Harris also promised a new program focused on creating education and economic opportunities for girls there, among other new initiatives.