A delegation of six California legislators–all Democrats–is visiting El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama to meet with the countrys’ leaders, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The trip’s purposes include to “strengthen legislative ties and exchange information on a number of public policy areas, including trade and investments, immigration reform, goods movement, and port infrastructure and security” according to an official California Legislature document. The Mission statement for the trip also refers to the recent influx of “Central American migrants” and “unaccompanied minors” to the U.S. border. migrants are arriving.”
Around 600,000 El Salvadorans live in California, according to the document which states, “this delegation would like to expand the network of official contacts in order to grow relations in the immediate future and have a channel of communications regarding sensitive issues such as migration.”
Regarding the delegation’s time in Guatemala, “the delegation also will pursue the expansion of official contacts and further encourage the growth of government, economic, educational and social links between California and Guatemala.” An estimated 330,000 Guatemalans are reported to reside in California. While a large number of Californians remain out of work, “the delegation is interested in collaborative efforts with Guatemala that promote economic development and create jobs, while also fostering a secure society.”
In Panama, the six legislators “will work towards continued advancement of the strategic partnership between California and Panama.” According to the report, Panama’s “location and role in global trade make it vital to California’s prosperity and trade environment.”
“Illegal” is a word that the trip’s official mission statement never mentions. Those coming from Central America are largely referred to as migrants.
The delegation is scheduled to run from July 14th to the 23rd and includes: Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Senator Ellen Corbett (D-East Bay) in addition to Latino Caucus members Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez (D-Coachella), and caucus vice-chair Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville).