At the Summit of the Americas, the United States deploys measures to combat the migration crisis
The United States on Friday unveiled a long list of measures to address the migration crisis as President Joe Biden and his fellow leaders prepared to issue a joint statement at a stormy Summit of the Americas. The White House has touted a series of actions agreed by countries in the Western Hemisphere and Spain, including programs to welcome more guest workers and provide legal pathways for people from poorer countries to to work in the richest countries.
The Biden administration, facing a record flow of illegal migrants at its southern border, pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Venezuelan migrants across the region, renewed processing of family visas for Cubans and Haitians and facilitated the hiring of Central Americans. workers. The announcements on the final day of the Los Angeles summit are part of a US-led pact dubbed the ‘Los Angeles Declaration’ and aimed at creating incentives for countries hosting large numbers of migrants and distributing responsibility In the region. But some analysts doubt the pledges, some of which seem mostly symbolic, are significant enough to make a meaningful difference.
The plan caps off a Biden-hosted summit that was designed to reassert American leadership and counter China’s growing economic footprint in the region. However, that message was clouded by a partial boycott by leaders, including the Mexican president, in protest at Washington’s exclusion of US antagonists Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the rally.
During the summit’s opening session on Thursday, the leaders of Argentina and lesser Belize took to the podium to berate Biden face-to-face on the guest list, underscoring the challenge the global superpower faces in restoring its influence among poorer neighbours. The statement, to be delivered by Biden and other leaders at a ceremony on Friday, “aims to mobilize the entire region around bold actions that will transform our approach to managing migration in the Americas,” the statement said. White House in a statement.
Some countries are unlikely to approve the migrant’s statement, according to a person familiar with the matter. Some Caribbean states would not endorse it, a summit official said. Both spoke on condition of anonymity. US officials should work up to the deployment ceremony to persuade skeptical governments to accept, or at least not openly oppose, any of the summit commitments, another person familiar with the negotiations said.
U.S. officials believe Biden’s open reaction during Thursday’s plenary session fueled some leaders’ determination not to bow to U.S. pressure over the statement, the source familiar with the matter said. ‘RETHINK’
“To address the unprecedented migration crisis in the region, we must rethink our view of multilateral development finance and how we manage the pressures on our economies,” the White House said. Mexico – whose long border with the United States is the site of record border migration – will support the statement, a summit official said.
The absence from the summit of leaders from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – the so-called Northern Triangle region from which many migrants come – has raised doubts about how effectively the proposed promises will turn into reality. US officials said participation would not prevent Washington from getting results. The declaration encompasses specific commitments from a wide range of countries, including Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Belize and Ecuador.
Spain, present as an observer, has pledged to “double the number of work lanes” for Hondurans participating in Spain’s “circular migration programs”, the White House said. Madrid’s current temporary work program has just 250 Hondurans, suggesting only a small increase is in sight. Tackling irregular migration is a top priority for Biden, a Democrat, as the number of illegal border crossing attempts with Mexico has reached record levels.
Republicans, who hope to regain control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in November’s midterm elections, have pilloried the president for overturning Republican predecessor Donald Trump’s restrictive immigration policies. But the issue of migration — as well as the summit itself — had to compete with Biden’s other pressing challenges at home and abroad, ranging from soaring inflation to the gun control debate. after the recent high-profile mass shootings and the war in Ukraine.
US efforts to stem migration from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have been hampered by corruption, with projects worth millions of dollars suspended and some private sector commitments blocked. In recent months, the Biden administration has sought to portray migration as a challenge for all of the Americas, calling on other countries to strengthen protections for asylum seekers and expand their access to legal pathways.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)