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Third Ministerial Meeting on the Los Angeles DeclarationOn Migration and Protection in Guatemala

Fact Sheet: Third Ministerial Meeting on the Los Angeles DeclarationOn Migration and Protection in Guatemala

June 19, 2024

Nearly two years ago, in response to the historic challenge of migration and forced displacement, President Biden launched the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, with 20 leaders from across the Western Hemisphere. The Los Angeles Declaration is a first-of-its-kind framework to promote coordinated action under three core pillars: (1) addressing root causes and supporting the integration of migrants to foster long-term stabilization; (2) expanding lawful pathways; and (3) strengthening humane enforcement.
On May 7, 2024, Guatemala hosted the third Los Angeles Declaration Ministerial with foreign ministers and senior representatives from 21 endorsing countries. Secretary of State Antony Blinken led the U.S. delegation, alongside White House Coordinator for the Los Angeles Declaration Marcela Escobari, Department of Homeland Security Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary Kristie Canegallo, and USAID Acting Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean Michael Camilleri. The United States is grateful for President Arévalo’s leadership in hosting the Ministerial.
On behalf of the United States, Secretary Blinken announced $578 million in humanitarian, development, and economic assistance to support partner countries and host communities in responding to urgent humanitarian needs, expanding lawful pathways, and supporting the regularization and integration of migrants. The United States also announced expanded enforcement partnerships to deter irregular migration, including increased consequences for the smuggling networks that prey on vulnerable migrants. The U.S. Government reiterated its commitment to work alongside partners to establish a permanent, regionally-driven Secretariat to ensure that coordinated progress is sustained under the Los Angeles Declaration.
The endorsing countries presented progress toward their commitments under the Los Angeles Declaration and announced the following new initiatives.
Strengthening Humane Enforcement

  • The United States took steps on May 6 to impose visa restrictions on executives of several Colombian maritime transportation companies for facilitating irregular migration to the United States. These are part of a broader set of U.S. actions targeting owners, executives, and senior officials of companies providing transportation by land, sea, or charter air designed for use primarily by persons intending to irregularly migrate to the United States. Earlier restrictions were placed on individuals in the charter air sector.
  • The International Air Transport Association and several of its member airlines committed to concerted action to limit the use of commercial flights for irregular migration.
  • The United States and Costa Rica announced the establishment of a new Biometric Data Sharing Partnership to enhance Costa Rica’s biometric collection and matching, and strengthen its border management, thereby increasing safety and security in the region. The United States and Costa Rica also signed a memorandum of understanding outlining bilateral cooperation in countering trafficking in persons.
  • The United States is deploying additional resources to Guatemala to increase security at land, air, and sea ports throughout the country, increasing screening and vetting in the region.
  • The United States will expand public awareness of the CBP One™ mobile app among migrants seeking to enter the United States. From January 2023 through the end of March 2024, more than 547,000 individuals have used CBP One™ and presented themselves to a port of entry for processing, instead of risking their lives at the hands of smugglers.
  • The United States leads the Countering Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Action Package Committee under the Los Angeles Declaration, coordinating international efforts to target, investigate, arrest, and prosecute human smuggling organizations that are preying on vulnerable migrants. 
  • Partner countries reaffirmed their commitment to stem extracontinental irregular migration through increased use of transit visas, passenger vetting, and enforcement measures against entities and individuals that profit from irregular migration.

Expanding Lawful Pathways for Migration and Protection

  • President Biden rebuilt our refugee resettlement program and led a historic expansion of lawful pathways to the United States and partner countries.  Under the President’s Safe Mobility Offices initiative to deter irregular migration and expand lawful pathways in the Western Hemisphere, we are on track to increase six-fold the number of approved refugees from the region.  Already, over 21,000 individuals have been approved to resettle safely and legally in the United States through the Safe Mobility Offices in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador.
  • Guatemala and the United States announced that the Safe Mobility Offices in Guatemala will expand eligibility to include Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Nicaraguans present in Guatemala. 
  • Costa Rica and the United States announced that the Safe Mobility Offices in Costa Rica will expand eligibility to accept Ecuadorians. 
  • The United States reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening lawful pathways. Under the Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela (CHNV) parole process, flows of irregular migrants from these four countries have been reduced significantly, while 435,000 vetted and cleared individuals of these nationalities have been approved to lawfully enter the United States. Applicants must have a U.S.-based financial supporter, pass vetting and background checks, and meet other established criteria to receive advanced travel authorization. Once paroled on a case-by-case basis, CHNV nationals are eligible to apply for work authorization and start work immediately.
  • USAID announced plans to launch a new regional labor mobility initiative — “Alianza de Movilidad Laboral para las Américas” or “Labor Neighbors” — to increase access to lawful temporary labor pathways for new migrant-source and destination countries. The initiative will work with international organizations and other partners to provide technical assistance to countries across the region to identify eligible workers to meet pressing labor needs.
  • The Department of Labor launched a $3 million project to strengthen protections for workers participating in U.S. temporary foreign worker programs. The United States also announced it is joining the International Labor Organization’s Fair Recruitment Initiative and its Advisory Committee. The initiative seeks to ensure that domestic and cross-border recruitment practices are grounded in international labor standards, promote gender equality, and prevent human trafficking and forced labor. These steps reinforce the Biden Administration’s Presidential Memorandum on Advancing Worker Empowerment, Rights, and High Labor Standards Globally and its steadfast commitment to protecting worker rights at home and around the world.
  • Mexico announced that, since 2022, it has issued over 17,500 temporary visas to individuals seeking international protection to address labor shortages in the country. Additionally, Mexico has launched a pilot program in collaboration with the Haitian Embassy, International Organization for Migration, and the Tent Partnership to expand labor pathways, offering job opportunities and work permits to Haitian migrants.
  • Costa Rica committed to continue modernizing its asylum system through digitalization, data-driven solutions, and adopting practices to streamline refugee status determination with support from UNHCR and the international community.   
  • Canada confirmed it will take UNHCR referrals from the Safe Mobility Offices, as part of Canada’s ongoing commitment to this important initiative. Canada has also made significant progress on its commitment to welcome 15,000 migrants from the Americas region. Canada is also investing $75 million Canadian dollars over six years to fund capacity building projects to strengthen migration and protection systems in the region.

Addressing Root Causes and Supporting the Integration of Migrants to Foster Long-term Stabilization

  • The United States reaffirmed its commitment to addressing the root causes of irregular migration. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation is announcing the approval of a $20 million direct loan to Cosami, a savings and loan cooperative, for low-income mortgages in rural Guatemala. Cosami’s assistance will help finance the construction of borrowers’ first homes, helping to improve living conditions, create jobs, and promote economic growth in lower-income communities.
  • With initial support from the U.S. Government, the International Organization for Migration launched a new online platform and data portal for the Los Angeles Declaration, which enables endorsing countries to obtain, share, and disseminate best practices and data.
  • Ecuador announced that, under a new regularization program, those who have already registered will be able to complete their process to obtain a temporary resident visa and more migrants will be able to apply for a temporary visa.
  • Colombia announced a plan for regularization of irregular migrants through special permits for parents and legal guardians of children with valid Temporary Protective Status. Colombia also announced a new special permanent visa for Latin American and Caribbean migrants without regular status in the country. The Colombian government estimates these actions will benefit up to 600,000 individuals.
  • Costa Rica committed to expand the Special Temporary Category regularization pathway and reduce barriers to access with continued assistance from the international community.