Refugees International Statement on VP Harris’ Visit to Guatemala

Please see below statement from Refugees International Latin America Advocate Rachel Schmidtke: 

“Today’s meeting between U.S. Vice President Harris and Guatemalan President Giammatei represents an important first step in the Biden administration’s engagement with Guatemala. This visit provides opportunities for U.S. officials to listen to the needs of Guatemalan people and to build trust with Guatemalan organizations who can work with the United States government towards solutions to corruption, rule of law, security, poverty, and climate change. 

But Refugees International is concerned that the Vice President’s message to Guatemalans not to come to the United States undermines the right to seek asylum under U.S. law. 

We continue to urge the Biden administration to build policies that recognize that many Guatemalans will need to seek protection until the long-standing drivers of forced displacement are addressed and realign its message to the Guatemalan people to reflect America’s commitment to the right to seek protection internationally.” 


For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Refugees International Sarah Sheffer at

PHOTO CAPTION: Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on the economy and migration at a press conference in Guatemala City, Guatemala on June 07, 2021. Photo Credit: Josue Decavele/Getty Images.