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Congressman Vicente Gonzalez

Representing the 15th District of Texas

Congressman Gonzalez Issues Statement on DHS Secretary’s Visit to Central America

July 10, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) issued the following statement in response to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen’s visit to Guatemala with Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Kirsten D. Madison, and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco Palmieri.

The delegation will meet with Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel and government counterparts from Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico to discuss migration solutions that strengthen security efforts in Central American countries.

“Americans must remember that there are two key components of the current immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico Border: the administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy, and years of failed American foreign policy in the region,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “I hope that Secretary Nielsen and the American delegation work with our neighbors to craft new policies that acknowledge and address the realities of this situation. When we bring sustainable opportunity, growth, and security, we incentivize citizens to live and flourish in their native countries.”

This spring, Congressman Gonzalez embarked on a congressional delegation to Guatemala and El Salvador. In Guatemala, the congressman and delegation met with President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales; U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala, Luis Arreaga; Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jairo Estrada; and Guatemalan Ambassador to the U.S., Manuel Espina.

In El Salvador, the congressman and delegation met with Vice President of El Salvador, Oscar Ortiz; U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Jean Manes; Acting Foreign Minister, Carlos Castaneda; Salvadoran Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Claudia Canjura de Centeno; and members of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

The delegation spoke with these government officials, members of the private sector, and civil society on an array of issues – including the need to eliminate gang violence and increase economic opportunity for respective citizens.

Congressman Gonzalez has been a steadfast advocate of smart, commonsense border solutions. He plans to continue pushing for solutions that target the source of issues, not wait until they become too overwhelming to manage.