The United States agreed Monday to train members of a Guatemalan task force responsible for protecting the country’s borders and putting a brake on uncontrolled migration. The U.S. offer came during a video call between U.S Vice President Kamala Harris and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.
The U.S. will send 16 employees of the Department of Homeland Security to aid in the effort. The United States will also help Guatemala to build shelters for returned migrants and help the migrants transition back to life in their home communities. The agreement comes amid a spike in the number of migrant children arriving at the U.S. border, man of them Guatemalan. The effort will be spearheaded on the Guatemalan side by the Division of Border Ports and Airports. Harris told Giammattei the U.S. is planning to increase relief to the Northern Triangle region — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — and “strengthen our cooperation” to better manage the steep increase in migration at the U.S. southern border. The conversation marked a ramping up of Harris’ diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration from the region, a role she was given by President Joe Biden last month.