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Washington, August 21, 2018 | comments

Representative Ruben J. Kihuen, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, recently attended meetings with foreign heads of state, senior government officials and representatives of the United States in Guatemala and Mexico. The meetings focused on immigration, the Trump Administration’s family separation policy, fighting drug trafficking, reducing gang violence and improving trade. Representative Kihuen was joined by Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX).

“Mexico and Guatemala are key allies to the United States. Strengthening our relationships with our southern neighbors is critical to our efforts to combat drug trafficking, reduce gang violence and ensure regional stability,” said Representative Kihuen. “We also must strengthen our trade agreements to ensure free and fair trade and create jobs for Nevada workers.”

“Mexico and Guatemala are key partners in the global fight against drug trafficking, including the deadly opioids fueling the addiction epidemic in our neighborhoods,” said Dr. Cassidy. “In our discussions I was able to stress the importance of their cooperation, and get a firsthand look at their efforts on the ground. We also talked about the impacts of illegal immigration and the need for greater security and strong borders. When it comes to trade, Louisiana sells billions of dollars’ worth of goods to Mexico, so I want to make sure that as NAFTA is renegotiated it is done so in a way that strengthens our trade relationship and provides even more benefits and opportunity to Louisiana workers.”

“This visit proves that Members of Congress can close the divide on issues critical to the well-being of this nation,” Representative Gonzalez said. “By establishing a neighborly rapport in Washington, Mexico, and Central America, we can strengthen trade agreements, create jobs, and tackle gang violence and drug trafficking to all of our mutual benefit.” 

In Guatemala, the members met with the President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales, Vice President Jafeth Cabrera and members of his cabinet to discuss efforts to combat drug trafficking and improve security and trade policy. The members also took part in a meeting hosted by the Council of the Americas, and visited U.S. Marines stationed in Flores as a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF).

In Mexico, the members met with U.S. embassy officials, including DEA and intelligence officials, and received classified briefings from the U.S. Department of Defense on drug and security issues along the southern border. They also met with the President-elect of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s chief of staff, Alfonso Romo Garza, and the incoming Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard to discuss immigration, family separations, NAFTA and security. 


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