High-level migration meeting between US, Mexico, Guatemala to result in ‘several important announcements,’ officials say

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(WASHINGTON) — A meeting between top representatives from the United States, Mexico and Guatemala on Wednesday will result in “several important announcements” about “commitments for deeper cooperation” on managing migration between the countries involved, according to senior Biden administration officials.

Officials said those announcements would include a joint statement that showcases “our joint commitment to further trilateral cooperation on migration and related matters;” Guatemala hosting the next Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection ministerial meeting in April; and the creation of a U.S.-Mexico-Guatemala operational cell to jointly tackle migration issues, which was described by one official as “a working group that will share best practices and focus on ways that we can again enhance our already strong collaboration with both governments — bring it all together so that we are working seamlessly across all three governments.”

One official said Wednesday’s meeting would cover “issues related to economic development, border enforcement, labor mobility pathways and orderly humane irregular migration in the region,” with key agenda items including collaboration to address the root causes of irregular migration; opportunities to “deepen our trilateral efforts to expand legal pathways, including labor migration pathways;” joint commitments to strengthen the management of irregular migration flows; and coordination on future ministerial level meetings related to migration.

Officials also defended the Biden administration’s efforts to address the root causes of migration, but acknowledged it was “certainly a long-term effort that requires lots of work from throughout the U.S. government, throughout international organizations, foundations and otherwise” — citing Guatemala’s democratic transition as an example of success.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will host Wednesday’s meeting with his Mexican and Guatemalan counterparts in Washington, D.C. Blinken, joined by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and other high-level U.S. officials, “will lead a discussion focused on actions to strengthen humane migration management, joint collaboration to address the root causes of irregular migration and displacement, and ways to expand lawful pathways in the Western Hemisphere,” according to the State Department.

The meeting comes as President Joe Biden prepares to make his second trip to the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday in another push for Congress to pass a bipartisan immigration deal, which includes changes to asylum protocols, funding to bolster immigration review and hire additional Border Patrol agents as well as new emergency powers for officials.

Biden, a Democrat who is running for reelection this year, last visited his country’s southern border in January 2023 after facing immense criticism from Republicans for not going there as migrant encounters reached a record high in December.

ABC News’ Morgan Winsor contributed to this report.

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