The United States is facing a crisis of illegal immigration on its southern border, said Vice President Mike Pence during a recent speech in Guatemala. The majority of migrants are coming from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Since the start of this year, more than 150,000 people have left these Central American countries and made the often dangerous journey to the southern border of the United States, hoping to enter illegally.
The Vice President noted that many “are making the journey seeking economic opportunity, driven by the misguided belief that they can ignore the laws of the United States and enter our nation without consequences.”
The United States will continue to welcome legal immigration, affirmed Vice President Pence. In the last year alone, the United States welcomed more than 1.1 million legal immigrants, including nearly 50,000 legal immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
But as President Trump has said, "If you don't have borders, then you don't have a country." That’s why the U.S. government is enhancing border enforcement and increasing prosecutions. Construction of a new southern border wall is also underway. At the same time, President Trump has acted to keep families together while the U.S. enforces its laws and secures the border.
Vice President Pence urged the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to do their part to stop the flow of illegal immigration by cracking down on human trafficking, fighting corruption and gang violence, strengthening their borders, increasing economic opportunities, and creating jobs.
Vice President Pence spoke directly to the people of Central America saying: “You are our neighbors. We want you and your nations to prosper. If you want to come to the United States, come legally, or don't come at all. If someone tells you they can bring you or your children to America outside the law, don't believe them.”
“Don't risk your lives or the lives of your children by coming to the United States on the road run by drug smugglers and human traffickers.”
The United States is determined to secure its border and end this crisis. As noted by Vice President Pence, with help from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, “we know we'll do just that.”