Harris was appointed by Biden to lead the diplomatic outreach in March, just as the administration was struggling to deal with a massive surge in migration at the border -- arising mainly from Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Harris has come under severe criticism for not having visited the border, and for not having held a press conference on the matter. Her office has announced she is not involved with the border per se, but with the root causes.
Those root causes include poverty, economic uncertainty and intense weather in Central America.
"We are looking at extensive storm damage because of extreme climate, we're looking at drought in an area in a region where agriculture is one of the most traditionally important basis for their economy, we're looking at what's happening in terms of food scarcity as a result of that and in fact, incredible food insecurity, which we used to call hunger food insecurity," she announced in April.
The administration has a $4 billion long term investment for Central America, and has thus far pledged $310 million in investment for the area as part of the attempt to tackle "root causes."
Harris begen her trip in Guatemala and has late last night flew to Mexico .
According to her office, the purpose is to deepen the U.S. strategic partnership and will focus on the relationship with the Guatemalan government and community leaders and private sector entities. Her office explains that a "multi-pronged" approach will include addressing climate change, food insecurity, poverty, violence and corruption.
In Mexico, Harris will have a bilateral meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, to address how the two can cooperate to bolster applications in the Northern Triangle, as well as strengthening bilateral cooperation on economic and security matters, including immigration enforcement. She will further engage in a conversation with women entrepreneurs as well as a labor roundtable and a meeting with U.S. Mission staff.
How much will be performed by Harris’ trip is unclear, although there have been signs that the White House has been attempting to tamp down expectations for what can be accomplished in the trip alone.
Officials have stressed that the U.S. cannot solve this issue by itself, and it requires collaboration with governments and other organizations -- including the United Nations. Harris herself has insisted that she does not think the root causes approach will lead to immediate results.