Pompeo discusses efforts to combat migrant crisis with Mexico, El Salvador officials

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:16 AM PT — Monday, July 22, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently praised Mexico over its efforts to combat the Central American migrant crisis. Sunday’s meeting marked the halfway point for a the 90 day agreement signed last month for Mexico to slow the flow of illegal migration towards the U.S. southern border.

Following the meeting, Pompeo applauded Mexico for taking visible efforts to uphold the deal. However, he pointed out the job is far from over.

“They’ve made real progress…importantly, they’ve made a real commitment towards that progress…the numbers are good…there are fewer apprehensions taking place today along our southern border, but we’ve got a long way to go yet,” said the U.S. secretary of state.

According to the agreement, if the U.S. decides that Mexico has not done enough to tackle the issue then they would start discussing a policy requiring most asylum seekers to apply for refuge in Mexico instead of the U.S.

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security recorded a nearly 30-percent decrease in border apprehensions compared to figures in May. Many experts partially attribute this drop to Mexico’s policies since ratifying the agreement.

Particularly, Mexico has sent over 20,000 members of its National Guard to its northern and southern borders to crackdown on the flow of illegal migration. However, Mexican officials have still expressed concern over the Trump administration’s ‘Safe Third Country’ policy, calling the move unnecessary considering the recent drop in illegal migration.

Nonetheless, Pompeo remained optimistic toward Mexico’s extensive efforts in the past month to cooperate with the United States.

“For the next set of actions, I’ll talk with the president and the teams back in Washington and we’ll decide exactly which tools and exactly how to proceed, so that we can get to the shared mutual goal between President Obrador and President Trump which is reducing the illegal migrant flow across our southern border,” he explained.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, shakes hands with El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele at the Presidential House in San Salvador, El Salvador, Sunday, July 21, 2019. Pompeo ends his Latin American tour in this Central American country. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

After his meeting in Mexico, Pompeo flew to El Salvador to discuss its diplomatic ties. During the talks, the two sides reportedly discussed ways to combat the growing gang violence in El Salvador, which has partially caused mass amounts of people to flee the country toward the U.S. border.

“We talk about fighting crimes together. We talk about fighting to get the gangs together. We talk about interdicting narcotics together. We talk about reducing immigration together. So I think this was a this was a very, very important meeting. I think it’s a, it’s a game changer.”

— Nayib Bukelenayib Bukele, President – El Salvador

The majority of Central American migrants come from troubled countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.