Secretary Mayorkas delivered the following remarks at the Ministerial Meeting on the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
My thanks to Minister Courtenay and the World Bank for hosting us; to Secretary Blinken for his leadership; and to all of you for your partnership and for being here today.
We have come together, as partners and friends, to develop and deliver a solution to what is a regional challenge: the unprecedented movement and displacement of people in our hemisphere who are seeking a better life. Only through our shared efforts can we successfully address our shared challenge.
This administration has overseen the largest expansion of safe, legal migration pathways to our country in decades, even as we have strengthened enforcement of our immigration laws in a manner that protects asylum and related protections for those who need it.
This progress would not be possible without the close collaboration with all of you and our colleagues in 21 countries across the Hemisphere. In the year since the Los Angeles Declaration was endorsed, I have travelled and met with many of you and your teams. I have had the privilege of visiting with many of you in your countries and hosting you here in Washington. I have seen the work you are doing publicly and privately to help create the conditions for more safe, orderly, and humane migration. I am immensely proud of the progress we are making, together.
We have worked with you to dramatically expand refugee resettlement processing from the Western Hemisphere; created innovative parole processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans; announced new Family Reunification Programs; and provided migrants, including those who may wish to seek asylum in the United States, with a way to safely come to our ports of entry.
We recognize the efforts that many of you – our partners in the region – are making to tackle the challenge posed by the coyotes and transnational criminal organizations that ruthlessly endanger migrants for profit. As part of these efforts, we are proud to support our partners in Panama and Colombia as they conduct an anti-smuggling campaign in the Darien, and we have partnered with Colombia, Guatemala, and Costa Rica to stand up new processes in those countries, which we will help – hope will help – identify safer, lawful migration pathways not only to the United States, but to Canada and Spain as well.
We are nations of immigrants, and we are nations of laws. We are keeping people across our hemisphere safe and doing so while living up to our values and obligations.
The progress we are making together, for our region, for our countries, and for our people is promising and speaks of a better future. I look forward to continuing our partnership, and to continuing to work with each of you in the months to ahead. Thank you. Thank you to all of you.