Pence urges Central American countries to end illegal migration

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Guatemala City, June 29 (IANS) US Vice President Mike Pence told the leaders of the three countries in the Northern Triangle of Central America — Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador — that illegal migration to America must end.

“As I told their presidents: This exodus must end. It’s a threat to our security. Just as we respect your borders and your sovereignty, we insist that you respect ours,” Pence reiterated after a meeting with the leaders of the three Central American nations here on Thursday.

The Northern Triangle of Central America is one of the world’s most dangerous areas and the focus of most of the migrants is to flee violence and poverty and seek refuge in the US, reports Efe news.

Pence admitted that the US is facing a new migration crisis and pointed out that the majority of immigrants arriving in the US are Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans.

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Pence noted that in 2018, “more than 150,000 Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Salvadorans have left their homes, made the dangerous journey to our southern border, and sought to enter our nation illegally”.

Most of them, he continued, are not escaping persecution in their countries, and in this new wave of immigrants gang members were found who come to the US looking for opportunities.

Pence admitted that the situation his country’s southern border is “more urgent than ever”.

Few details of the meeting have been reported. Among the suggestions made was the need to launch campaigns on the dangers and difficulties of the journey to the US, as highlighted by the vice president.

Pence also called on the three leaders to root out corruption, criminal groups and gangs in their countries.

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He assured that the US will continue to welcome those who arrive legally and stressed the need to work together towards a better future as well as foster development and prosperity in the region to tackle the immigration issue.

–IANS

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