In Today's Issue: Harris in Latin America to Identify Migration Solutions

The following story appeared in the June 8, 2021 issue of The Daily Juice. The text is from the 9th-10th grade version. To access the other grade levels, interactive vocabulary (words in bold), quiz questions, and more, sign up for The Juice.

Vice President Kamala Harris met with Guatemala’s president on Monday, beginning her first overseas trip since taking office. Harris will focus on identifying long-term solutions to undocumented migration from Latin America. The decades-long problem has gotten worse recently. President Biden tasked Harris with spearheading the White House’s response.  

Undocumented migration is when people cross international borders without permission. The US encountered about 6,000 undocumented migrants per day along its border with Mexico in April. That’s the highest number in two decades. A record number of unaccompanied children crossed the border this spring. 

Today, Harris will meet with Mexico’s president. Her trip reflects the Biden administration’s belief that the key to reducing migration is to help Central American countries address the phenomenon’s root causes. That’s a change from the Trump administration. It focused on building a wall and stopping migrants from entering the US. Harris will focus on climate change, food insecurity, and women’s rights. The idea is that migrants won’t flee their homelands if things are better there.

The use of US aid to improve conditions abroad and prevent migration has an inconsistent track record at best. Biden spearheaded similar initiatives when he was vice president, overseeing billions in aid, and migration has only grown more intense.

Guatemala’s president blamed the Biden administration for not sending a clear message to prevent people from heading to the US. But, on Monday, Harris told migrants: “Do not come, do not come.”

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US Politics (Grades 11-12)

Biden Executive Orders Will Reverse Trump Policies

President-elect Joe Biden plans to sign a flurry of executive orders soon after his inauguration tomorrow. He plans to address what he’s calling the four crises facing the country. They are COVID-19, the economic downturn, racial injustice, and climate change.

An executive order is a written directive from the president carrying powers similar to a federal law. Presidents have historically used these orders to push policies forward quickly because they do not require approval from Congress. The downside of executive orders is that they are easily overturned by any new president. That is not true for federal laws.

Among other moves overturning Trump administration policies, Biden’s orders will return the US to the Paris Climate Accord and to the Iran nuclear deal.

Related to the pandemic, Biden will require face masks on federal properties and during interstate travel. Other orders will be aimed at safely reopening schools and businesses.

On immigration, Biden will order agencies to determine how to reunite children separated from their families after crossing the US-Mexico border. Another order will end travel restrictions targeting majority-Muslim countries.

Other orders will address “equity and support communities of color,” criminal justice reform, and access to healthcare.

Photo from Reuters.

Bold words are interactive vocab words in The Juice.

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