US, Mexico and Guatemala agree to work together to resolve critical immigration situation

A Border Patrol agent instructs asylum seekers to wait at the United States border with Mexico, near Tijuana (AP Photo/Dennis Poroy)

High immigration flows are one of the major problems facing the United States. For this reason, Joe Biden’s government is applying various methods to regularize the situation and, at the same time, seek cooperation from the countries of the hemisphere. This Wednesday, the head of North American diplomacy, Anthony BlinkenWashington received their counterparts from Mexico and Guatemala (Alicia Barcena and Carlos Ramiro Martinezrespectively) to address this issue.

During the virtual conference in which he participated InfobayThree government officials spoke about the tripartite meeting, and emphasized that for the Biden government This is a “complex” issue that requires joint work.

“It is a shared responsibility, we cannot address it alone. We need to work with our partners to strengthen law enforcement and expand economic opportunities so they are not forced to migrate,” he said. Vanessa Vidal CastellanosDirector of Strategic Communications and Deputy Spokesman for the National Security Council.

Eric JacobsteinDeputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central America in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Blas Nunez-NetoThe Under Secretary for Border Policy and Immigration, Department of Homeland Security, were other officials who briefed the trilateral meeting in the North American capital.

Jacobstein noted that during the meeting they also discussed “how to humanely manage migration in our hemisphere” and commented that the delegations agreed to work together in key areas such as “Border Management and Promoting Safe, Humane and Legal Migration”And they agreed The root causes of migration must be “urgently addressed”.

With Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and National Security Adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken speaks with Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcenas and Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Ramiro Martinez during a meeting on migration at the state. Department in Washington (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarck)

“We must focus on creating good jobs, protecting human rights, improving security and helping countries in the region build a better future. as well as advancing inclusive economic prosperity for all people,” said the State Department official, who also said the United States, Mexico and Guatemala They are committed to “strengthening access to legal channels”.

Along these lines, he highlighted the agreement between the parties Share information to fight Human Trafficking and Smuggling.

Jacobstein also pointed to the importance of the “democratic transition” in Guatemala, where President Bernardo Arevalo de León recently took office, and highlighted the first steps the Central American president has taken to help fight migration and national corruption. In this regard, he maintained that the country’s delegation was committed to reorganizing its federal forces and strengthening border controls.

Delegations also agreed to increase support for the population of Guatemala’s western highlands, a region from which many people migrate, and vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples and women.

“There was a frank discussion among all ministers about the need to increase joint efforts and better coordinate border controls (…) All three delegations committed Establish a working group to improve security and infrastructure Along the borders between the three countries,” Nunez-Neto said.

And he added: “We will continue to expand this collaboration and work more closely together on the challenges we see in the hemisphere.”

Guatemalan migrants arrive in Guatemala City on a deportation flight from Mexico (REUTERS/Cristina Chiquin)

Jacobstein predicted that the next meeting of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection would take place in Guatemala. However he limited himself to saying it would be “in the near future”, without specifying a date.

In the 2022 Los Angeles Declaration, 20 countries in the hemisphere have committed to curbing irregular migration and promotes new legal avenues for migration. The 22 countries that signed the declaration will be invited to the meeting, including the United States and Mexico.

The record increase in the number of immigrants and asylum seekers coming to the United States has become one of the major national problems. Border Patrol stopped migrants in irregular conditions at the border with Mexico More than 2.7 million times since January 2023Of those, more than 800,000 were Mexican and more than 285,000 were Guatemalan, according to official data.

At the beginning of the meeting, “Countries of origin, transit and destination must work together because no country alone can effectively address this challenge,” Blinken said.

“This geographic specificity positions us as countries that face the most phases of the migration cycle,” agreed Mexican Foreign Minister Barcena, who highlighted the importance of finding solutions “with a more regional perspective.”

Immigration is a major concern for Americans (EFE/Manuel Okano)

“We see migrants as people of labor mobility who are looking for opportunities” and “we have to go to the deeper reasons” to make that an option, he added.

Carlos Martínez, Guatemala’s minister of foreign affairs, declared, “Origins, causes, maybe those are the words we add to the words that summarize everything in development, which we don’t have.” He recognized that too Your country has “decades of accumulated social debt”.And clarified that although a great effort will be made in the next few years, “it will not improve this scenario, but lay the foundation for building a new country.”

The Biden administration has created a series of “legal pathways” to immigrate to the United States, such as making an appointment through a mobile phone app (CBP One), completing procedures in countries migrants transit through or applying for a permit. Humanitarian and family reunification.

Both Mexico and the United States have presidential elections this year, which is why both countries want to redouble their efforts to improve immigration conditions. An issue that increasingly concerns both societies. A survey published this week by Gallupreflects that immigration has become The most important issue and problem for AmericansAbove the management of government and economy.

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