WASHINGTON–Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Kevin K. McAleenan, departed Guatemala City last Thursday after engaging in several productive meetings to increase collaboration and partnership across a number of initiatives to confront irregular migration in the Northern Triangle region. During his trip, the Acting Secretary held talks with the President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, as well as the Foreign Minister, Sandra Jovel, and the Minister of Government, Enrique Antonio Degenhart, with whom he signed a cooperative agreement regarding the examination of protection claims on July 26, 2019. Acting Secretary McAleenan told President Morales and cabinet members that the U.S. is standing ready to support Guatemala in advancing the agreement.
The Acting Secretary also met with prominent Guatemalan private sector and civil society leaders during to discuss the cooperative agreement and gain their perspective on the continuing U.S.-Guatemalan partnership on regional security and opportunity. Before departing back to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, the Acting Secretary met with the United Nations Human Rights Commission’s Regional Representatives for Central America to discuss the agreement and offer support to their efforts in the country.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Government of Guatemala have partnered together to combat human smuggling and transnational criminal organizations operating in the Northern Triangle region, which undermine the safety and security of both countries’ citizens and exploit our most vulnerable populations.