(CNSNews.com) - DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Thursday “historic steps” the U.S. is taking with the cooperation of the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, and Mexico to confront “irregular migration” and migrant caravans.
The secretary and her foreign counterparts agreed to a roadmap for action that will result in better information sharing, law enforcement cooperation, and public messaging to deal with the ongoing crisis.
“Today we have declared a historic commitment,” Nielsen said at a meeting with foreign ministers of the Northern Triangle in San Salvador, El Salvador.
“We will through our joint statement, which we will soon sign, indicate our joint resolve as northern triangle ministers and the Homeland Security secretary of the United States to combat trafficking, to combat criminals and gangs, to protect vulnerable populations, to increase our information-sharing and intelligence, and to increase our messaging so that all of our citizens understand not only the laws that apply in each country, but the dangers of a potential irregular migration,” she said.
“We declared our resolve to bring order where there is chaos, to bring criminals and gangs to justice, and to share much needed information throughout the region so that we have a better understanding and awareness of the situation at hand,” Nielsen said.
She thanked her colleagues “for their determination to increase cooperation with respect to caravans.”
“The caravans are a new phenomenon,” Nielsen said. We are working together to understand their purpose, their plans, and make sure that those who are vulnerable contained within them are protected. I do want to be clear that America is a welcoming and compassionate nation.
“We bring in more legal immigrants each year than any other country. We intend to continue this honored practice, but we cannot allow those who choose to break our laws to take advantage of a broken system, so we look forward to welcoming those who come legally, but we also look forward to working with the ministers around the table to protect those who need our protection, but to also stop those who would abuse our laws,” she added.