DHS Secretary Kelly Meets with Guatemalan President

By Kausha Luna, February 23, 2017

On Wednesday, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly visited Guatemala to discuss issues of security, migration, and development.

Secretary Kelly was welcomed by President Jimmy Morales. According to a press release by Guatemala's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two officials "discussed the causes for migration, which in the case of Guatemala are mainly economic reasons." President Morales reiterated the commitment of the Guatemalan government to continue working on generating the economic and social development that the population needs.

In turn, Secretary Kelly expressed his commitment to the observance of migrants' human rights by sending a message on the risks of embarking on a dangerous trip to the United States. Moreover, he pointed out that deportations will focus on persons who have committed a crime and that mass deportations are not expected.

Thereafter, Secretary Kelly held a meeting with the Minister of the Interior of Guatemala, and other relevant officials. This meeting focused on the fight against transnational organized crime and the strengthening of communication and cooperation with the Northern Triangle countries (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador).

This visit was of lower profile in comparison to Secretary Kelly's subsequent visit (together with Secretary of State Tillerson) to Mexico, where the government has been very outspoken in its refusal to accept President Trump's plans to return the rule of law to U.S. immigration policies. (A blog post about the Mexico visit is upcoming.)