US and Guatemala launch new migration centers to tackle migration

US seeks to curb illegal migration through migration centers that will begin accepting appointments on June 12

Laura Gamba  | 01.06.2023 - Update : 02.06.2023
US and Guatemala launch new migration centers to tackle migration

BOGOTA, Colombia

The US and Guatemala announced on Wednesday a six-month pilot program to try to deter undocumented migrants and refugees from seeking to enter the US through the Mexican border.

The “Oficinas de Movilidad Segura” or “Secure Mobility Offices” consists of new migration processing centers that will be located in the Central American nation that “will facilitate access to lawful pathways to the United States and other countries, family reunification, and access to temporary work visas,” both countries said in a joint statement.

The announcement follows a visit to Guatemala by a delegation of US officials led by Phil Gordon, national security advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris.

“The two governments jointly commit to take a series of critical steps to humanely reduce irregular migration and expand legal pathways under the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection,” the text said.

These offices will begin accepting appointments on the website on June 12, but it is unclear from the announcement where in Guatemala these centers will operate and how many people would be served as part of the program.

At the end of April, the US government announced the creation of migrant care centers in Guatemala and Colombia as part of the end on May 11 of Title 42, a policy first imposed by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed officials to turn away asylum seekers on public health grounds.

“The United States and Guatemala will also deepen cooperation on border security and will continue to address the root causes of irregular migration,” the statement said.​​​​​​​

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