On April 11, 2023, the governments of Colombia, Panama, and the United States of America held a trilateral meeting in Panama City, Republic of Panama to discuss joint efforts on border security and the migratory challenges happening in the Darien. During the meeting, we reaffirmed our joint commitment to carry out coordinated actions to address the humanitarian risks in the jungle zones due to irregular migration. The following three points were accepted as the beginning of a solution:
- Combat human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Darien in land and maritime corridors where vulnerable people die and are exploited.
- Open new and flexible lawful pathways to reduce irregular migration.
- Launch a plan to reduce poverty, improve access to national services, create jobs, and promote sustainable economic opportunities for border communities in northern Colombia and Panama through international partnerships with financial institutions, civil society, and the private sector.
In addition to the above, the U.S. government has recently proposed the creation of Safe Mobility Offices that would identify, register, and categorize the reasons for irregular migration and channel those who qualify through lawful pathways from Colombia to the United States. The goal is to prevent those who intend to start or continue irregular migration to the United States or other places such as Canada from taking such a risk. Such offices are planned for several countries in the region.
The U.S. government is working with the government of Colombia to promptly implement a model to ensure the success of this initiative. This model will work to direct migrants from Haiti, Cuba, and Venezuela toward lawful pathways. The start date of the Safe Mobility Offices initiative will be established in the coming days. Safe Mobility Offices established in Colombia will be jointly managed.
Colombia welcomes the initiative within the framework of the Declaration on Migration and Protection endorsed at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, on June 10, 2022. This mechanism will strengthen the respect for human rights of migrants.
The government of the United States, like the government of Colombia, urges people seeking to travel to the United States to take advantage of the expanded lawful pathways.
The U.S. government also reaffirms its commitment to simultaneously expand additional lawful pathways for Colombians with temporary work visas and expanded family reunification, creating more pathways to reunite Colombian-American families and help Colombian workers access employment opportunities in the United States.
The United States and Colombia continue to demonstrate their joint commitment to address the hemispheric challenge of irregular migration.