Guatemalan foreign minister questions US immigration raids

Illegal immigration will not be prevented by US authorities undertaking a huge operation to detain dozens of undocumented immigrants, according to the foreign minister of Guatemala. Carlos Raul Morales made the comments on Monday during an interview on Emisoras Unidas radio, during which he noted that authorities in the United States had expressed concerns about the fact that there was no reduction in the number of unaccompanied immigrant minors entering the country in 2015.

Morales said that around 25,000 undocumented minors from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala were deported in 2015 and that his country’s response to the concerns of the United States was categorical. “Either we work together to prevent migration and make economic opportunities available in their country of origin, or we’re not going to stop them from migrating.”

Morales added that an operation was launched in the United States at the end of 2015 to find 300 immigrant Guatemalans who had entered the country since the beginning of January 2014 and had been issued with final deportation orders. 26 of the 300 have been caught in Texas; however, Morales says it is as yet unclear whether US authorities intend to keep looking for the remainder.

Guatemala rejects the method of massive detentions being used by the United States because, Morales says, “it’s not the way we’ll achieve results in matters of migration, because of the contribution migrants make both to their countries of origin and to their adopted country.”