Mexico, Guatemala to boost help for migrants deported from US

Mexico, Guatemala to boost help for migrants deported from US

Guatemala City (AFP) - Mexico and Guatemala on Tuesday said they would boost the help they give to their citizens deported back home, especially from the United States.

Both countries recognize the need for policies "of inclusion and development for returned migrants, as well as programs of labor mobility," Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said after talks with visiting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

He said they shared a goal of "concrete actions that will fully tackle the structural causes of migration."

Neither president made any direct comment about the hardline anti-immigration policies of US President Donald Trump and his administration.

"The Guatemalan and Mexican peoples are united by strong ties of friendship and by a proximity that has created close links between our citizens," Pena Nieto said.

The United States has an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, most of them from Mexico. In recent years, migrants from Central America have become the biggest group seeking entry into the US.

Last year, before Trump took power, US authorities deported 35,465 Guatemalans -- 13 percent more than the previous year.

Trump has vowed to have a wall built along the US-Mexican border to prevent illegal entries.

Pena Nieto was on a three-day official visit to Guatemala -- his first since becoming president in 2012.

He and Morales also held discussions on modernizing crossing points along their countries' shared border, where gangs, people-smugglers and drug cartels ply their trades.