Wednesday, August 4

Joe Biden sends senior officials to Mexico and Guatemala to analyze the migration crisis


The objective, according to the White House, is “to collaborate in the development of an effective and humane plan of action” as well as “to improve conditions in Central America.”

US President Joe Biden.
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Senior US officials will analyze this week in Mexico and Guatemala the growing wave of undocumented migrants arriving at the southern US border, mostly from Central America, Joe Biden’s administration said Monday.

Roberta Jacobson, coordinator of the White House for the southern border, and Juan Gonzlez, in charge of Latin American affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), traveled to Mexico on Monday, reported NSC spokeswoman Emily Horne.

The objective, he said, is “to collaborate with Mexican government officials in the development of an effective action plan and human to manage migration. “

Gonzlez will then go to Guatemala to meet with government officials, representatives of civil society and NGOs “to address the root causes of migration in the region, “he added.

In both visits, which will take place between March 22 and 25, there will be Ricardo Ziga, appointed on Monday special envoy of the Department of State for the North Triangle, made up of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

North Triangle

A career diplomat, Ziga will lead US efforts to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Ziga, who was an advisor to former President Barack Obama on the policy of rapprochement with Cuba, coordinate with the Secretary of State, Antony Blink, the White House and Congress in pursuit of implementing the policy announced by Biden of allocating some 4,000 million dollars over several years to eradicate the causes of migration in Central America.

“The special envoy will engage with regional governments, including but not limited to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, on a variety of issues to address improve conditions in Central America “, Price said.

“Also, hold our partners accountable for the commitments they have made to address the root causes of migration and increase in the arrival of unaccompanied minors to the southern border of the United States, “he pointed out.

“We will also collaborate with stakeholders in civil society and the private sector as part of our efforts to help build a more prosperous future in these countries,” he added.

“Joint efforts”

In Mexico, the government of Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador said that it would receive the US delegation on Tuesday, and that representatives of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) will also participate in the meeting.

“The main issue to be discussed will be cooperation for development in Central America and southern Mexico, in addition to joint efforts to a safe, orderly and regular migration “, tweet Roberto Velasco, general director for North America of the Mexican Foreign Ministry.

Mexico announced on Friday that it has reinforced patrolling its border with Guatemala, monitored since 2019 by the National Guard to contain the migrant caravans bound for the United States that began to emerge towards the end of 2018, after identifying some 4,180 minors Central Americans who traveled irregularly through Mexican territory.

In Guatemala, the government of Alejandro Giammattei announced a bilateral meeting with delegates from the United States for Thursday.

The chancellor said that the meeting will be attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pedro Brolo, as well as his colleagues from Economy, Public Finance, Education, Government and Defense.

“The border is not open”

About 100,000 people were detained in February on the southern border of the United States, including almost 9,500 unaccompanied minors, an increase of 28% compared to January. And the Biden government waits for this year a record arrival of migrants in 20 years.

Asked if the United States ask Mexico and Guatemala to help stem “the tide of migrants” to the north, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki replied, “Absolutely.”

Psaki insisted to journalists that “the border is not open”, a message that the Biden administration has emphasized from day one in a vast campaign on social media and radio, in Spanish, Portuguese and six indigenous languages.

“The vast majority of people who arrive at the border – adults, families, single people – are rejected “Psaki said.

“With children, our focus is to speed up the process and make sure they can reach the shelters as quickly as possible, “he added.

The deterioration of living conditions in Central America, hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and two devastating hurricanes in November, increased the influx of migrants even before Biden came to power on January 20.

But the promise Biden’s decision to dismantle his predecessor Donald Trump’s draconian anti-immigration policy also spurred many hopeful migrants with easing conditions.

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