U.S., Mexico and Guatemala pledge to work together against illegal migration

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By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

The three countries will seek to “protect” the common borders of trafficking in people, drugs and weapons.

The meeting was made up of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken; Mexico’s Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena; and Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Ramiro Martínez.

A U.S. official who has requested anonymity said that announcements will be made, such as the creation of an operational cell among the three countries to address migration problems.

In addition, the new government of Bernardo Arévalo de León will host a regional meeting on migration to be held next April in the Central American country to coordinate a response to the continent’s high migratory flows.

IN THIS MOMENTO

U.S. sources confirmed that during Wednesday’s meeting there was talk that Guatemala will host the summit of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection.

The meeting will be the first migration meeting under the Los Angeles Declaration of 2022, in which about twenty countries of the American continent pledged to curb irregular migration and promote new legal avenues for migration.

The Joe Biden administration in the United States and the Mexican government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador have held several rounds of migration talks, but this is the first time Guatemala joins, where Bernardo Arévalo de León took power last January.

The record number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in the United States has become a headache for Democratic President Joe Biden, whom Republicans accuse of not doing enough to resolve.

The U.S. border patrol has intercepted irregular migrants on the border with Mexico more than 2.7 million times since January 2023, of whom more than 800 thousand were Mexicans and more than 285 thousand Guatemalans, according to official data.

IN THIS MOMENTO

Biden’s government remains in regular contact with its southern neighbor and is convinced that the recent arrival in power of Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo will be of great help to him.

I work together.

At the beginning of the meeting, its head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, said that the countries of origin, transit, of destination must work together because no country alone can effectively meet this challenge.

This geographical particularity places us as countries that we face most phases of the migration cycle, agreed Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena.

That is why the delegations of the three countries will consider the causes of migration, such as corruption, which Arévalo promised to fight.

Another look

Bárcena insisted on finding solutions – with a more regional look, because it allows to develop – a kind of unique model of migration – that can serve – even for other regions of the world.

We migrants see them as people in labour mobility who are looking for opportunities and to make it an option – we have to go to the root causes.

How do we seek to strengthen regular pathways to labour mobility, that is to say how to make sure that people find opportunities, he explained.

The Biden government created a series of legal avenues to emigrate to the United States, such as asking for an appointment through a mobile phone app (CBP One), doing the procedures in the countries through which migrants pass or availing themselves of humanitarian and family reunification permits.

These channels include labor visas, very important for both the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Arévalo.

His foreign minister, Carlos Ramiro Martínez, described the temporary work as a clear measure of help.

Development

“Raetroot, causes, maybe they are words that we add to a word that sums up everything that is development, which is what we don’t have,” he said.

Guatemala has a accumulated social debt for decades – and even if an effort is made over the next four years, it will not correct this scenario, but will lay the foundations for a new country to be built, he said.

The Guatemalan minister acknowledged that the state is obliged to generate and offer opportunities for people not to mire.

The meeting is held on the eve of Biden and Donald Trump, their possible rival in the November elections, travel to the border with Mexico to discuss the migration crisis.

Mexico, which holds elections in June, insistently calls for the regularization of millions of migrants living in the United States, one of Biden’s campaign promises that is never concreted by opposition from Republicans.

The latter have made the migrant crisis the star issue of their campaign, to the point of conditioning military aid to Ukraine on a tougher policy in that area.

Biden gave in and negotiated for months an immigration bill that has not been passed because the conservative-majority lower house of Congress considers it too loose.

And that allows people to temporarily ban asylum when the border with Mexico is collapsed and tightens the standard of interviews in which it assesses whether there is a possibility that the person will be persecuted or tortured if he returns to his country.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Prensa Libre