Biden’s immigrant pact will commit U.S. to receiving MORE migrants as he tries to combat crisis – but deal in jeopardy with Mexico and northern triangle countries skipping his summit
- Biden to reveal migration plan on last day of Summit of the Americas
- Pact will involve U.S. and Latin America countries taking in more migrants
- Migrants and border crisis huge issue for Democrats in midterm election
- But questions raised about effectiveness of pact as leaders of Mexico and Northern Triangle countries skip Biden’s summit
- Those four countries produce most migrants seeking to enter U.S.
President Joe Biden will reveal his migration plan on Friday that involves the United States and Latin American countries pleding to take in more migrants as the crisis at the U.S. Southern border continues.
In April, U.S. border officials encountered 234,088 migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, topping March’s 22-year high of just over 221,000.
Republicans are using the high numbers to pound the administration ahead of November’s midterm election that will decide control of Congress. Biden has been under pressure to detail his plans for dealing with the crisis.
His ‘Los Angeles Declaration’ will outline a set of migration principals that includes legal pathways to enter countries, aid to communities most affected by migration, humane border management and coordinated emergency responses.
President Joe Biden to reveal migration plan on last day of Summit of the Americas
Biden’s plan comes as migrant crisis grows worse – above central American migrants walk in a caravan towards the border with the United States
The plan also includes incentives for countries to aborb migrants and provide a method for them to learn a living.
Administration officials argue the plan could help relieve the labor shortage the United States and other countries are feeling.
‘Under the declaration, governments will commit to collectively expand temporary worker programs to address labor shortages while reducing irregular migration. We see this as a true win-win for countries such as the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and other countries across the Western Hemisphere that are facing massive labor shortages,’ a senior administration official said on a briefing call with reporteres on Thursday.
Biden will cap his troubled Summit of the Americas by asking countries to sign on to the pact, which will call on countries to build up their own asylum systems, create more work visas and increase their own border enforcement.
But some key allies in the migration fight are missing, particularly Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who boycotted the summit after leaders of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua were not invited. Mexico is a key transit country for migrants.
The leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – the three Northern Triangle countries – also skipped the summit, which is raising questions about how effective Biden’s ‘Los Angeles Declaration’ will be.
Mexico and the three ‘triangle’ countries produce most of the migrants seeking to cross the U.S. border.
But a senior administration official said the countries have been involved in the process of drafting the pact.
‘We’ve engaged with them quite a bit in the development of the declaration and have welcomed their support,’ the official said.
The diplomatic boycott has mared the summit as Biden attempts to reassert U.S. influence in Latin America and counter the growing threat from China, which is investing heavily in the area.
The administration is trying to portray the migrant crisis as a shared responsibility of the region.
It is pulling in other countries to share the burden of hosting migrants, including Spain and Canada.
Already Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica are all each hosting hundreds of thousands of migrants.
Violence, poverty and a harsh standard of living in Latin America has led to millions fleeing their homelands for the chance at a better life.
Six million Venezuelans have fled their country’s dictatorship. And Nicaraguans, Cubans, Haitians and others have violence or extreme poverty in their countries.