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Blinken raises immigration issue in call with Guatemalan foreign minister - Metro US

Blinken raises immigration issue in call with Guatemalan foreign minister

FILE PHOTO: New U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds first press briefing at the State Department in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo in a phone call on Wednesday that Washington was committed to addressing the causes of illegal immigration, the State Department said.

Blinken cited endemic corruption, the lack of economic opportunity and insecurity as the “structural problems” that drive illegal immigration, the department said in a statement.

Blinken told Brolo it was in the interest of both countries to ensure a “safe, orderly, and humane approach to migration,” the statement said.

U.S. President Joe Biden has promised to undo many of former President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies.

The U.S. government this week will begin to process thousands of asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico under a program put in place by Trump, officials said.

Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry said earlier this month that the U.S. government had ended a contentious deal with Guatemala negotiated under the Trump administration that sent asylum seekers processed at the U.S.-Mexico border to the Central American country to await hearings.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Peter Cooney)

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