Latin America: Washington attacks those who facilitate “illegal migration”

Latin America: Washington attacks those who facilitate “illegal migration”
Latin America: Washington attacks those who facilitate “illegal migration”

Antony Blinken in Guatemala, May 7, 2024.

AFP

The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken called for sanctioning those who facilitate “illegal migration” during a regional conference held Tuesday in Guatemala on migration, a subject at the center of the presidential campaign in the United States. United.

The “new visa restriction policy targets people who knowingly provide a means of transportation to those seeking to emigrate illegally to the United States,” Antony Blinken declared at the opening in front of around twenty foreign ministers and senior officials. of countries signatories to the Declaration on Migration and Protection, in Los Angeles during the 2022 Summit of the Americas.

“This declaration recognizes that irregular migration affects each of our countries and that each of us has a responsibility to help remedy it,” added Antony Blinken, referring to “a truly historic challenge” for the American continent.

“Visa restrictions”

The American Secretary of State particularly pointed to “charter flights arriving in Nicaragua” with Asian and African candidates for exile in the United States. He further pointed out that Washington announced on Monday “visa restrictions for managers of Colombian maritime companies that facilitate illegal immigration.”

Highlighting “significant steps to expand legal migration pathways as an alternative to irregular migration,” he said he supports “local efforts to help people stay safe in their own countries by addressing the root causes that drive people to move.”

Some 2.8 million illegal immigrants enter the United States each year. In the middle of an election year, immigration has emerged as one of the key issues in the campaign pitting Democratic President Joe Biden against his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, according to whom Joe Biden is not doing enough to fight against immigration. illegal immigration.

“Structural causes”

Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo also called for “facilitating safe, orderly, humane and regulated migration so that we can work towards solutions.”

“We are convinced that migration is a multilateral challenge and it is from there that we must find common solutions,” Chilean Deputy Foreign Minister Gloria de la Fuente told AFP.

“Migration should be a choice and not an obligation. This is why our first priority is to tackle the structural causes,” said Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena during the plenary session.

“If we all do it, countries of origin and destination, we can progress. This means tackling poverty, inequality, climate change, violence, and also eliminating unilateral coercive measures,” she added.

1.15 million migrants intercepted

Between October and February, nearly 130,000 Guatemalans crossed the border between the United States and Mexico illegally, according to the American border authority. During this same period, some 1.15 million migrants were intercepted by Washington, according to the State Department.

Not all migrants make their long journey by land, some take sea and air routes. Nicaragua, pointed to by Mr. Blinken, operates as an air bridge through which Asian and African migrants seek to avoid the Darién, according to U.S. officials and Central American analysts.

The authoritarian government of Daniel Ortega, against which Washington is imposing sanctions, is granting numerous visas, the same sources assure. Nicaragua does not participate in this conference and did not sign the Los Angeles declaration in 2002 to which it was not invited.

(AFP)

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