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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Harris said Wednesday she plans to visit Mexico and Guatemala "as soon as possible" in a diplomatic effort to address surging migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border has reached crisis levels. Harris, appointed by Biden as border czar, said she would be looking at the "root causes" that drive migration.

What she's saying: "Our focus is to deal with the root causes, and I am looking forward to traveling, hopefully as my first trip, to the Northern Triangle, stopping in Mexico and then going to Guatemala," Harris said at a virtual roundtable with experts on Wednesday, per Reuters.

  • Most people in the Northern Triangle countries don't want to flee their homes but do so as a last resort due to financial instability, political turmoil and violence, among other things, Harris said.
  • That's why the U.S. needs to help these countries reach economic stability, Harris added.

Harris has already set up an agreement with Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala to temporarily increase security presence at their borders to curtail migration.

Go deeper

Apr 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden weighs Ken Salazar for ambassador to Mexico

Joe Biden and Ken Salazar embrace at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Biden administration is vetting Ken Salazar, a former senator and Interior secretary, to serve as U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: President Biden is close to publicly naming a slate of ambassadors. In considering a former Senate colleague for Mexico City, he's acknowledging the crisis on the border will require both diplomatic and political skills to solve.

Biden's immigration tightrope

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The American Civil Liberties Union and other migrant advocacy groups are fed up with President Biden for continuing some of the controversial immigration practices used by President Trump.

Why it matters: With the president approaching his 100th day in office, the situation at the southern border has become his administration's biggest problem and threatens the Democrats' chances in the pivotal 2022 midterms.

Border Democrats seek asylum revamp, more help from feds

Rep. Veronica Escobar. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

Two border-district Democrats in Congress are pressing the Biden administration to revamp the asylum process, saying the current migrant surge is highlighting significant flaws in the system.

Why it matters: These lawmakers say the administration needs to start making concrete changes by summer. "If it's this bad in 90 days, it's hard to have excuses," Rep. Vicente Gonzalez told Axios.