The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Kevin K. McAleenan, arrived in Guatemala today, the first stop on his trip to the Northern Triangle countries. The commissioner will be traveling to Honduras and El Salvador through the week. McAleenan will be meeting with U.S. embassy officials, foreign officials from all parts of government, and local business leaders and stakeholders to get a holistic understanding of the factors that drive migration to the United States.
In recent weeks, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of families migrating from noncontiguous countries to the United States. In recent months, many of these families have chosen to illegally cross the border between the ports of entry on the Southwest border.
“The recent, significant increase in families and unaccompanied children arriving at our southwest border comprises an ongoing regional crisis. While our current legal framework does not provide for the effective enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, we cannot be resolved to one solution or wait for Congress to act,” said McAleenan. “The decision made by a family from Central America to migrate to the United States is based on a range of regional factors, to include poverty and food insecurity. Any solutions to address the root causes should be both multifaceted and carefully tailored. I want to see the situation first hand, and hear from the impacted partner governments, communities, businesses, U.S. agencies, and international NGOs, what the key challenges are, what is working, and where we can provide further support.”