Biden Taps Harris to Work With Central American Countries to Stem Migration


Mr. Biden said that Ms. Harris would oversee the administration’s plans to pump billions of dollars into the ravaged economies of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in the hopes of reducing the violence and poverty that often drive families in those countries to seek refuge in the United States.

Ms. Harris said that there was “no question this is a challenging situation,” but that she was looking forward to engaging in discussions with leaders of Central American countries.

For Ms. Harris, the diplomatic assignment is one of the first in a portfolio of responsibilities that aides said would continue to expand in the months ahead. They noted that Mr. Biden, as vice president under President Barack Obama, had been in charge of working to improve conditions in the same Central American countries.

The task is likely to be a difficult one. Mr. Biden’s efforts in Central America were largely unsuccessful, as critics charged that corrupt leaders there had not effectively spent foreign aid money. In the years since, the countries have grown more dangerous and more economically unstable.

Now, Ms. Harris will face similar challenges in an even more heated political environment. Republicans have seized on the surge of migrants at the border as evidence that Mr. Biden’s immigration policies are failing.

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