Final Statements by Secretary Nielsen at the IV Security Meeting of the Northern Triangle

I’m pleased to announce that we had a very productive meeting. I would just like to underscore the minister’s comments to really make it clear how important this meeting was. I’d like to start by thanking all of colleagues at the table here and in particular the security ministers for their continued dedication and commitment to these issues and their resolve to find a common path forward.

Today we have declared a historic commitment. We will through our Joint Statement which we will soon sign indicate our joint resolve as northern triangle ministers and the homeland security secretary of the United States to combat trafficking, to combat criminals and gangs, to protect vulnerable populations, to increase our information sharing and intelligence and to increase our messaging so that all our citizens understand not only the laws that apply in each country, but the dangerous of a potential irregular migration.

And we have declared our resolve to bring order where there is chaos, to bring justice to criminals and gangs, and to share much needed information throughout the region so that we have a better understanding and awareness of the situation at hand.

I want to again thank my colleagues for their determination to increase cooperation with respect to the caravans. The caravans are a new phenomenon, we are working together to understand their purpose, their plans and make sure that those who are vulnerable contained within them are protected. I do want to be clear that America is a welcoming and compassionate nation. We bring in more legal immigrants each year than any other country. We tend to continue this honored practice but we can not allow those who choose to break our laws to take advantage of a broken system. So we continue welcoming those who come in legally but we also look forward to working with the ministers around the table to protect those who need our protection but to also stop those who would abuse our laws.

And we all agree: enough is enough. We cannot allow children to be exploited. We can not allow women to be used and raped on this journey, and we can not allow migrants be victims of violence and preyed on by criminal organizations.

So I am pleased to note that my counterpart ministers have agreed to a roadmap for action. The Minister explained parts of it.

Together, we will pursue new initiatives to reach those goals and rekindle efforts that are currently underway, and we will seek new and more active ways to partner to combat these joint issues.

My call to action today to my fellow ministers here is to roll up our sleeves and to commit  to the timelines, to the aggressive timelines that we agreed to today.  

I’m very thankful to all that work that went into this and I’m very excited to see you again next month – as the Minister noted – in Honduras to sign our historic document.

Together we will show the world that we are prepared to do what’s right to protect our communities, to help vulnerable populations closer to home, and advance prosperity throughout the region. We’ll do this together as an active partnership. I want to thank you again for your very kind invitation to join you. I’d like to thank the other Ministers and the Government of El Salvador for hosting this very historic ministerial.

Thank you.

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