The State Department, in coordination with other federal agencies, is weighing a list of priorities to address irregular migration ahead of Harris' expected visit to Guatemala. Those priorities include legislative reform designed to improve conditions in the country, bolstering border security in the region and increasing Immigration and Customs Enforcement removal flights, the source said.
It's a high-stakes negotiation for Harris, who was tapped by President Joe Biden
to lead Central American efforts
against the backdrop of a growing number of migrants, many of whom are from the region, at the US southern border that have stretched the government's resources. Harris is not expected to travel to Mexico and Guatemala until mid-May at the earliest, according to a source familiar with the planning.
"We are making progress, but let's just be very clear, this is a complicated, complex issue that actually has been an issue for a long time and the work that we are putting into it now is work that is going to require a long-standing commitment beyond administrations," Harris said Monday after touring a manufacturing plant in North Carolina.
Since being tapped, Harris -- whose role is similar to the one Biden took under the Obama administration -- has spoken with the leaders of Guatemala and Mexico and recently met with experts on the region in a virtual roundtable.