Commissioner Kerlikowske’s Remarks at a Joint Press Conference with the First Lady of Honduras, Ana García de Hernández
Remarks as Prepared: August 25, 2016
Good morning. I’m Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP. It’s an honor to join First Lady Garcia de Hernández here this morning. I would like to thank her – and President Juan Orlando Hernández – for their tremendous hospitality during my visit here this week.
This morning, I met with the Child Joint Task Force of Migration, led by the First Lady – who is a tireless advocate for migrant children and families. We sincerely appreciate the keen interest that the First Lady has taken in border security and immigration issues.
One of the chief concerns about migration is the fact that human smugglers prey on desperate people, and it is particularly hard on children, who are vulnerable to trafficking schemes by adults who are eager to exploit them. These smugglers can and will say and do anything to convince migrants that the trip is safe and that the end result will be a “permiso” – permission to stay in the United States.
There are no “permisos.”
To the parents listening who are considering putting their children in the hands of ruthless smugglers—smugglers that will prey on your family—I urge you to instead help build that brighter future for your children here in Honduras.
In closing, I want to thank the Government of Honduras in general and the First Lady and President Orlando Hernandez in particular for their hospitality to my team and to me. These bilateral discussions are vital to the continuing progress in so many key economic and border security areas.