FEB 21: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen met Northern Triangle security ministers in San Salvador on February 20 to discuss the development of a “regional compact” and action plan aimed at addressing the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis of irregular migration and the formation of migrant caravans.
“Today, we have declared a historic commitment – our mutual intention to crack down on smugglers and traffickers who are profiting from human misery,” said Secretary Nielsen.
“We cannot allow children to be used as pawns or women to be sexually assaulted or migrants to become victims of violence on the terrible journey north,” she added. “We must put an end to this crisis and help vulnerable migrants closer to their point of origin.”
The Joint Statement outlines a path toward a formal Memorandum of Cooperation—or “regional compact”—between U.S. and Northern Triangle security ministries, which, states DHS, will address the challenges of irregular migration at their source.
The compact is intended to cover four areas of collaboration: (i) combatting human trafficking and migrant smuggling; (ii) countering organized crime and gangs; (iii) expanding information and intelligence sharing; and (iv) strengthening border security.
Ministers agreed to complete the final agreement in March and to engage in regular meetings—at the senior and working levels—to help ensure these efforts commence quickly and are effectively executed and sustained.