1709169687 US Mexico and Guatemala agree to strengthen cooperation against illegal

US, Mexico and Guatemala agree to strengthen cooperation against illegal migration | International

US Mexico and Guatemala agree to strengthen cooperation against illegal

The United States is trying at all costs to contain migration pressure on its border with Mexico. President Joe Biden plans to travel to Brownsville, Texas, this Thursday, the same day his likely rival in November's presidential election, Donald Trump, travels to another border point, Eagle Pass, also in Texas. This Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosted a trilateral ministerial meeting on migration with Guatemala and Mexico, where the three countries agreed to strengthen migration cooperation.

The three countries “commit to establishing a trilateral working group that will focus on operational issues and work on improving security, law enforcement, processes and infrastructure along their international borders,” a joint statement said. “Law enforcement agencies in the three countries will work together to identify security deficiencies, share information and develop coordinated response plans,” the statement said, adding that “these efforts will build on and expand existing partnerships to address common challenges.” to tackle their limits.

The debate focused on measures to strengthen human migration management, joint cooperation to address the root causes of irregular migration and displacement, and ways to expand legal opportunities in the Western Hemisphere, as expected by the State Department.

Blinken was accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other American officials from various ministries. He received Mexico's Foreign Minister, Alicia Bárcena, and Guatemala's Foreign Minister, Carlos Martínez, in Washington.

During the meeting, Foreign Minister Martínez announced that Guatemala will soon host the next Los Angeles Declaration Ministerial Meeting on Migration and Protection.

According to the joint statement, the three delegations agreed on the urgent need to address the causes of irregular migration and displacement. To this end, they discussed the importance of promoting investments in Guatemala that develop infrastructure and expand access to health, education, electricity and housing. Participants also highlighted the need to increase economic productivity, strengthen supply chains between the three countries and create jobs in the region.

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The three countries committed to expanding access to labor mobility opportunities as a strategic response to migration challenges in the region. The delegations also discussed combating human trafficking and the importance of anti-trafficking programs. “Participants committed to redoubling joint law enforcement efforts, including by improving information sharing and working together to investigate and prosecute human trafficking and migrant smuggling networks,” the statement said.

The United States and Mexico have already had another meeting this year where issues such as unifying migration numbers, combating people smuggling networks and a plan to deal with the arrival of immigrants through the dangerous pass were agreed upon. from Darien in Panama.

United States immigration policy under the Joe Biden administration has tried to address the root causes of migration, create legal pathways for migrants to the United States and toughen the law for those who break the rules, but this mix has not worked and is breaking records of irregular arrivals of immigrants in the country.

Biden has sought to decongest the border by approving permits for migrants from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti and Cuba. The United States government has also established offices in Colombia, Guatemala, and Costa Rica where those interested in traveling to the United States can process their applications.

Arrests for illegal border crossings fell by half in January after reaching record levels in December. At his last meeting with Bárcena in January, Blinken welcomed the “great progress” that had been made and the milestone that the inauguration of Social Democrat Bernardo Arévalo in Guatemala represented for cooperation on immigration. According to Blinken, his assumption of power opens “an important new area of ​​cooperation on migration” between the three countries. “We will continue to work more broadly together to develop regional solutions to this historic challenge we face,” he said in January.

Biden himself called the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, earlier this month to discuss the border in particular. The US President thanked Mexico for its operational support and for adopting concrete measures to deter irregular migration. Both reaffirmed their shared commitment to strengthening our joint efforts to combat transnational criminal organizations involved in the illicit trafficking of drugs, weapons and people, said the summary of the call released by the White House.

Immigration has replaced the economy as the main issue of political confrontation between Republicans and Democrats. This Thursday, Biden will travel to the border for the second time as president, following his visit to El Paso in January last year. The White House announced the trip this Monday after releasing information about Trump's visit to Eagle Pass this Thursday.

Trump's pressure has derailed a bill that would provide aid for Ukraine and Israel, but also reforms to curb illegal immigration at the border with Mexico. Initially, the border measures were a demand from Republicans to green light aid to Ukraine and Israel, but when push comes to shove, they prefer to take a step back and continue to use the migration flow as an electoral weapon.

Biden is exploring the possibility of issuing a decree with some measures to make it more difficult for immigrants to pass through or to ease their expulsion. Among the measures Biden's team is considering is invoking powers under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which gives the president wide latitude to block the entry of certain immigrants if necessary. This is “harmful” to the national interest.

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