WASHINGTON – Last evening, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.) met with the Foreign Ministers and Ambassadors of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to discuss progress in the implementation of the “Plan for the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle,” a multi-national strategy to improve the economic and societal conditions that drive so many to leave their region and migrate to other nations, including the United States. Participants in the roundtable included: Hugo Martínez Minister of Foreign Affairs, El Salvador; Francisco Altschul Fuentes, Ambassador to the United States, El Salvador; Carlos Raúl Morales Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guatemala; Julio Ligorria Carballido, Ambassador to the United States, Guatemala; Arturo Corrales Alvarez, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honduras; and Jorge Alberto Milla Reyes Ambassador to the United States, Honduras.
After the meeting, Sen. Carper released the following statement:
“Stemming the tide of illegal migration at our borders will take a multi-pronged approach,” Sen. Carper said. “But addressing the root causes of hopelessness, violence, and lack of economic opportunity in the Northern Triangle that compel so many desperate families and children to make the dangerous 1,500 mile journey to the United States, must be part of our strategy. Much like Plan Colombia, the Plan for the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle has the potential to bring order, foster economic growth, and combat the drug cartels and violence in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Yesterday’s meeting provided an important opportunity to hear about the progress and challenges of implementing the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle. The good news is that we’re already seeing promising signs in the region, and the nations’ commitments to work together were reiterated in the meeting by their Ambassadors and Foreign Ministers. But in order to succeed, this strategy will require a sustained focus on – and investment in – the region by the United States and our partners.
“That’s why I continue to give my steadfast support for the President’s recent request for $1 billion in aid for Central America and to encourage my colleagues in Congress to join me in seizing this window of opportunity to make substantial and sustainable progress in Central America,” Sen. Carper continued. “But let me be clear: these efforts should not rest solely on our shoulders. Addressing these tough challenges should be a shared responsibility among the United States, the governments of the Northern Triangle, other nations and other partners. While I am encouraged the commitment from national leaders to improve conditions in their countries, it is critical that they also provide accountability, transparency, and measurable outcomes for every U.S. dollar invested in the region. Change in these nations won’t happen overnight, and it won’t be easy, but if we work together, progress can be made. I thank the Ministers and Ambassadors for coming and I commend them for working hard to find consensus to chart a positive path forward for their countries.”