Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales will meet with President Trump on Monday at the White House to discuss regional security, immigration and development issues, according to U.S. and Guatemalan officials. The talks are expected to solidify the strategic alliance between the two nations, a senior Guatemalan official told

The meeting will focus on strengthening hemispheric security, which they noted is at a precarious point due to the influx of migrants heading to the United States border from various nations, including mainly Central American citizens.

The officials noted that the discussions will also address issues of sovereignty, as well as guaranteeing mechanisms that will contribute to the sustainable development of the Central American region, which is dealing with extensive corruption and plagued by poverty.

Focusing on these crucial issues affecting Central American “will thus reduce the need for illegal migration,” a senior Guatemalan official said.

“The meeting between President Trump and President Morales of Guatemala will focus on regional security, immigration and sustainable development issues,” the Guatemalan official added, who stressed the two nations are “great allies and partners.” Guatemalan officials maintain that their relationship with the United States and the Trump administration is strong and they are working to alleviate any concerns President Trump may have about their role in the border crisis.

The officials stressed that Guatemala is playing a crucial role with the United States in partnering against narcotics trafficking organizations and curtailing the flow of Special Interest Aliens, also known as SIAs, from entering Central America. SIA’s are people from embattled nations that have little security or resources to thoroughly vet their citizens. They are also from nation’s with significant ties to terrorism, such as Afghanistan, some African nations, Syria, and other similar countries.

The residents of Santa Rosa De Lima, Guatemala say hundreds of residents have fled their hometown to travel illegally to the United States. Human trafficking organizations are touting U.S. laws as a guarantee for jobs and asylum for those making the trek. They say they are turning into a “ghost town.” (Photo: visited Guatemala in October, 2018 and in May 2019, covering the illegal migration crisis from the region. Senior officials told this reporter during the trip that the country is contending with leftist leaning non-governmental organizations and political opposition that does not want to cooperate with the current Morales government or the United States.

According to a Reuters report Thursday, a U.S. government source was briefed on the visit and said Morales was expected to sign the safe third country agreement with Trump on Monday.

However, Guatemalan officials did not comment on this development when speaking to

The agreement is still being finalized, U.S. and Guatemalan officials said.

On June 26, Trump said the U.S. and Guatemala were close to reaching ‘a safe third country agreement’ and Guatemalan officials contend that the relationship is stronger than it has ever been in the United States.

According to the agreement, Guatemala would process asylum claims in their nation from migrants who cross their border on route to the U.S. Mexico border. Many migrants from Honduras and El Salvador use Guatemala as a thoroughfare into the United States. In October, 2018 roughly 1500 migrants, mainly men, crossed in the second largest caravan that year. The majority of migrants said they were heading to the United States to find work .