Washington, DC - Yesterday, senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Government of Guatemala met for the first DHS-Ministry of Government Executive Leadership Group (ELG) meeting. The ELG is a step forward by both governments to strengthen the strategic bilateral partnership and enhance collaboration on a range of shared security-related priorities.

In this meeting, DHS officials and Guatemalan counterparts discussed areas of collaboration including immigration, border security, combating transnational organized crime, and information sharing efforts. Also on the agenda were cooperation on the issues of unaccompanied children and President Obama’s recently announced executive actions on immigration.

As part of the discussion, Guatemalan officials briefed DHS on a new a biometric system to collect passenger data and monitor migration flows at air, sea, and land ports of entry in Guatemala. As envisioned, this system would unify entry and exit data from 16 different air, sea, and land ports of entry in one location for Guatemalan nationals and foreign travelers transiting through the country. DHS officials expressed support for the goals of the system and Guatemala’s efforts to advance the bilateral security relationship between the United States and Guatemala, with the United States planning to support integration of the Guatemalan biometric system into a larger regional network.