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Last Update: 23 Hour and 19 Minute ago
News code: 27618
Published Date: Saturday 8 June 2019 - 09:02:20
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US agents' deployment to stem Guatemalan migration raises alarm

US agents' deployment to stem Guatemalan migration raises alarm
World  - Human rights groups and analysts in Guatemala have raised alarm over the announced deployment of United States law enforcement personnel to the country to stem migration.


The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said last month it was sending a sizable force of agents and investigators to Guatemalan regions bordering Mexico. The Guatemalan government also reportedly expressed interest in a US military presence in border areas to address migration.

Migrants and asylum seekers from other Central American countries pass through Guatemala on the way to the US-Mexico border. Guatemala is also now the top country of origin of migrants and asylum seekers detained at the US southern border. Most Guatemalan migrants and asylum seekers are from predominantly indigenous highlands areas, and many are families with children.

"The [Guatemalan] government did not come up with anything positive for migrants in three and a half years in power," said Jordan Rodas, the country's human rights ombudsman.

"That now the only idea that goes through their mind is this kind of measure to request support from another government to prevent migrants from leaving is deplorable," Rodas told Al Jazeera.

The deployment of DHS personnel aims to enhance security and help mitigate the root causes of Central American migration to the US, according to a DHS official. DHS declined to provide Al Jazeera with any basic details about the deployment, citing law enforcement sensitivities.

The effort stems from a memorandum of understanding the heads of the DHS and Guatemalan Ministry of the Interior signed last week to implement joint initiatives to combat the smuggling of people and goods.

Actions will include "law enforcement training and training to improve criminal investigations", according to a May 28 DHS statement. The initiatives will help "limit 'push' factors that encourage dangerous irregular migration to the US," according to the statement.

The initiative will also enhance "improvements in the identification, administration, and detention of illegal immigrants," DHS said.

 

News Code: 27618
Published Date: Saturday 8 June 2019 - 09:02:20
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