Readout from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen’s Meetings in Guatemala
Discussed Joint Efforts to Stop Drug Smuggling, Human Trafficking, and Illegal Immigration
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with foreign and security ministers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico in Guatemala City, Guatemala to discuss joint international efforts to combat human trafficking, drug smuggling, and illegal immigration. During these meetings, the ministers and Secretary Nielsen reiterated their commitment to carry out concrete actions to enhance information-sharing best practices as well as collectively address security challenges and illegal migration flows. Secretary Nielsen was also joined by the State Department’s Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Kristen Madison, and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco Palmieri.
Expand and share joint public messaging efforts to dissuade potential migrants from taking the dangerous journey north – and work to counter-message the advertising and false information promoted by human smugglers.
Enhance security cooperation, including joint efforts to combat human smuggling and illicit trafficking.
Step up operations and resources dedicated to dismantling transnational criminal organizations.
Deepen information sharing about criminals, threat actors, and migration trends, including through co-locating more frontline operators and establishing action plans to share data in real-time across borders.
Bolster police forces, anti-gang units, and anti-extortion teams in Central America.
Expand asylum capacity in the region to make sure individuals can find safety closer to home, rather than feeling compelled to come to the U.S. border.
Expand biometric systems and data sharing to disrupt the movement of individuals who would pose a threat to regional security.
To continue this collaborative momentum, Secretary Nielsen and her counterparts agreed the governments will meet again in the coming weeks. The Secretary also reiterated the U.S. government plans to co-host with the Government of Mexico in the near future a major summit in the U.S. to discuss implementation of an ambitious, action-oriented agenda to reduce illegal migration flows, as well as efforts to improve security, economic prosperity, and governance.