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    Migrants stand near Mexican police at the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the US.

    US, 3 Central American Nations to Sign First Ever Migration Compact - Nielsen

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US and three Central American countries have tentatively agreed on a joint effort to halt a flood of migrant families and unaccompanied minors heading toward the US border to apply for asylum, US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said.

    "We have worked tirelessly with the Northern Triangle Countries… to deal with the root causes of migration and to address the challenges at the source," US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen told the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee in a congressional testimony on Wednesday. "This month, I am happy to report that we expect to sign a historic regional compact, the first ever with those countries to counter irregular migration, human smuggling, trafficking and the formation of caravans."

    READ MORE: 25 Gang Members Deported from Caravan on Mexican Border — Reports

    This comes after more than 76,000 illegals crossed into the United States without authorization in February, an 11-year high, US immigration officials reported earlier this week. The vast majority came from Central America's so-called Northern Triangle: Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

    More than half of last month's border crossers were either family units or minors without parents, Nielsen said in her testimony.

    Moreover, migrants are increasingly grouped in large caravans, with more than 70 groups of 100 or more arriving at the US border last year to request political asylum, Nielsen added.

    Congressional Democrats, including Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, have said the Trump administration has manufactured a fake crisis in order to build a wall on the US border with Mexico.

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    political asylum, Homeland Security, Central America, United States
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