For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
WASHINGTON— On Thursday, March 16, Secretary Kelly met with President of Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solis to discuss bilateral and regional security and economic issues of mutual interest. Key DHS officials, to include Acting CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan, and USCG Commandant Paul Zukunft were also present. The delegation from Costa Rica also included the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
During the meeting, President Solis explained Costa Rica’s current security and immigration challenges and also shared recent successes, particularly efforts to increase narcotics interdiction in the region. Secretary Kelly highlighted opportunities to expand investigative, border security, and information collaboration.
Both leaders recognized the threat to the region from narcotics trafficking, and how Costa Rica partners with DHS to track and intercept narcotics shipments as they transit Costa Rican territory. CBP, ICE, and USCG all pledged to support Costa Rican goals to expand border security (air, land, and maritime), build capacity to counter different forms of transnational crime, especially money laundering, and provide training and equipment to key Costa Rican security agencies, including the Border Police, Coast Guard, and Investigative Police.
During the meeting, Secretary Kelly emphasized his intent to support regional efforts to reduce levels of crime and improve economic conditions, especially in the “Northern Triangle” of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as a way to dissuade would-be migrants from attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.
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