Tuesday, June 18, 2024

US ambassador Ken Salazar visits southern Mexico border

U.S. ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar said on Tuesday that he visited Mexico’s southern border, as part of bilateral efforts to find solutions to mass migration. 

Salazar toured the Mexican state of Chiapas and neighboring Guatemala, accompanied by National Migration Institute (INM) head Francisco Garduño, who is currently facing charges for a fire in March at an INM detention center in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, that left 40 migrants dead.

Salazar, right, spoke with migrants as well as U.S. diplomats in Guatemala. (Ken Salazar/Twitter)

Through a statement on his Twitter account, the ambassador underscored Mexico and the U.S.’s joint efforts to address irregular migration and human trafficking. 

“Mexico has been a crucial partner in addressing the challenges of migration and its root causes. This commitment to address the unprecedented migratory flows — as well as to curb human smuggling and trafficking — has been continuously confirmed by President Joe Biden and President Andres Manuel López Obrador,” Salazar wrote.  

“We join efforts with regional partners, such as Mexico and Guatemala, to protect the rights of migrants while generating hope and well-being in communities.” 

The ambassador stressed that he is also collaborating with the U.S. ambassador to Guatemala, William Popp, as well as nongovernmental organizations and the United Nations through the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection

The ambassador also said that migration numbers have halved since the expiration of Title 42 and the imposition of tougher penalties for illegal immigration. (Ken Salazar/Twitter)

The declaration, launched during the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, in 2022, seeks to take a regional and humane approach to managing migration. 

Salazar said the number of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border is less than half of what it was prior to Title 42’s termination. The pandemic-era policy has now been replaced by Title 8, which carries stricter penalties for unauthorized migration. 

Despite Garduño’s presence on the tour, the Mexican government has not commented on U.S. officials’ visit to the southern border. 

With reports from Latinus

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