United States, El Salvador and Mexico held a meeting on irregular migration in the region
March 22, 2022
The governments of the United States, El Salvador and Mexico held a trilateral meeting to explore joint efforts on irregular migration and the creation of legal pathways for employment. The meeting was attended by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the Department of State, Marta Youth, who visited El Salvador on March 22, and the Chargé d’Affaires, Brendan O’Brien.
Representing El Salvador were the head of the Department of Humanitarian Management, Ana Irma Rodas; the Director of Bilateral and Regional Affairs, Jorge Umaña; the Director of Human Mobility Analysis and Partnerships, Julissa Landaverde; and the Chief of the Department of Labor Mobility, Elsy Vásquez.
A delegation from the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs also participated, including the Director for Northern Central America, Imanol Belausteguigoitia; the Coordinator of the North American Strategy, Arturo Rocha; and the Deputy Chief of Mission, Minister Óscar de la Torre.
The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, where the delegations discussed irregular migration, its causes, and shared solutions to this phenomenon.
During the trilateral meeting, the labor mobility program, implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was highlighted. The objective of this initiative is to expand the H-2 visa program in El Salvador, which allows qualified Salvadoran workers to work for temporary periods in key U.S. industries suffering labor shortages. The program targets Salvadoran workers in the western and eastern regions of the country, making the program available to more people from areas with high migration rates. To date, this project has facilitated more than 1,200 work visas, with a commitment to continue increasing this number.
About Deputy Assistant Secretary Marta Youth
She began working as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) in November 2020. She is responsible for humanitarian assistance programs in Africa and also oversees the Office of International Migration and the Southwest Border Task Force. She previously served as director of Central American Affairs at the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Her previous assignments include director of the Bureau of Europe, Central Asia and the Americas at PRM from 2017 to 2019; minister counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, from 2014 to 2017; and economic counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, from 2011 to 2014.
She also served at the U.S. Embassy in Quito, Ecuador, as press attaché from 2008 to 2011. Ms. Youth also served overseas at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain, as a Trade Officer from 2000 to 2004 and at the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, India, as a Consular Officer from 1992 to 1994.