- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Guatemala inked a cooperation agreement with the U.S. on Tuesday committing to trying to stem the flow of its citizens fleeing the country to head north.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan was in Guatemala to finalize the deal, as part of a four-day trip to try to secure better cooperation with the countries responsible for the new border surge that has overwhelmed U.S. authorities.

Guatemala agreed to do more to fortify its own borders, while the U.S. pledged training and better collaboration in trying to constrain drug and human traffickers.

In the seven months starting last October, a full 1% of the populations of Honduras and Guatemala moved to the U.S., Mr. McAleenan said this month.

One department in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, has seen nearly 3% of its population head for the U.S. over those seven months. One in four Guatemalans are looking to flee, with 85 % of them, or about 4 million, eyeing the U.S. as their preferred destination, according to research funded by the U.S.

“Through our continued collaboration and partnership, the U.S. and Guatemala are formalizing a number of initiatives to improve the lives and security of our respective citizens by combating human trafficking and the smuggling of illegal goods, helping to limit ‘push’ factors that encourage dangerous irregular migration to the U.S., perpetuating the ongoing crisis at our border,” Mr. McAleenan said Tuesday.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill say those kinds of deals will be more successful than President Trump’s approach of threatening to cut off foreign aid to Central American countries responsible for most of the surge of illegal immigrant families and children at the border.



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