Biden at Summit of the Americas: ‘We’re transforming the approach to managing migration’

·2 min read

President Biden said Friday that the declaration to address migration signed at the Summit of the Americans aims to transform the approach to managing the issue.

“With this declaration, we’re transforming the approach to managing migration in the Americas,” Biden said, flanked by other leaders. “It’s going to take all of our nations working together in partnership to address this migration issue.”

Twenty countries signed onto the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection during a meeting Biden hosted with regional governments at the summit.

Biden called the declaration a “historic commitment” and said it means that “no nation is bearing this responsibility alone.”

The declaration has four main pillars: Stability and assistance, promoting legal pathways of migration, having humane border management and coordinating emergency response efforts.

“We know that safe, orderly, legal migration is good for all our economies. We need to halt the dangerous and unlawful ways people are migrating, the dangerous ways,” Biden said.

Biden lauded President Rodrigo Chaves Robles of Costa Rica and President Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador for their new commitments to protect migrants in their countries, so they have a “chance to stay and rebuild their lives where they are.”

He also said that Chile and Canada had signed onto the declaration and urged other countries to join it.

With the declaration, the U.S. announced it will provide $314 million in new funding for stabilization efforts in the Americas, develop a $65 million Department of Agriculture pilot program to support U.S. farmers hiring agricultural workers under the H-2A program and commit to resettle 20,000 refugees from the Americas during fiscal years 2023 to 2024.

Biden stressed that the declaration also aims to improve the efficiency and fairness of asylum at the border and mentioned a Department of Homeland Security campaign focused on disrupting human smuggling.

“If you prey on desperate and vulnerable migrants for profit, we are coming for you. We are coming after you,” Biden said.

The declaration also includes commitments from Mexico to launch a new temporary labor program to provide work opportunities in Mexico for 15,000 to 20,000 workers from Guatemala per year; from Colombia’s leadership to respond to Venezuelan migrants and refugees with forward-leaning policies; and from Canada to invest $26.9 million in addressing root causes of migration.

Countries that signed onto the declaration included the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

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