In Huixtla, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, a caravan of migrants headed for the US Photo Reuters
Migration has become the focus of attention from a rally of Western Hemisphere leaders, which stands out as a key foreign policy issue that takes place in the midst of a Hollywood-style show that leaders come to meet and stay at home.
The “Los Angeles Declaration” to be announced when US President Joe Biden meets his counterparts and officials from North, Central and South America should be a call to action that can guide countries. when receiving people fleeing violence and seeks greater economic stability.
Since 2017, the United States has been the most popular destination for asylum seekers, a challenge faced by Biden and his predecessors, Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
However, the United States is not alone. Colombia and other neighboring countries in South America are home to millions of refugees who have fled Venezuela. In Mexico in 2021, over 130,000 asylum applications were completedmany of them Haitians, triple since 2020.
Migrants from Central America to Chiapas, in southern Mexico. AFP photo
Many Nicaraguans flee to Costa Rica, while Venezuelan refugees make up one sixth of the population of little Aruba.
“Countries already have to do this, so instead of each country trying to figure it out on their own, what we’re doing is saying: `Let’s come together consistently and build a framework so we can all work together and make this situation more humane and more manageable, ‘”said Brian Nichols, US Undersecretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
At the Summit of the Americas, which will take place from Wednesday to Friday, some concrete measures could be announced, maybe funds for development banks. Nichols said in an interview Monday that it would be premature to discuss specific initiatives, but some officials have made it clear the deal would be more ambitious.
There is a general consensus that relief or help should be targeted growth and stability in the communities where migrants live. “If you only help migrants and not communities, it’s counterproductive,” Nichols said.
The deal might ask more ways to legalize themmechanisms to bring families together, make border controls more humane and efficient, and improve the way information is shared, according to experts who have seen the drafts.
A migrant caravan in the United States, Mexico. AFP photo
Biden, on the other hand, is expected to announce a new alliance to help rebuild the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, which were hit hard during the pandemic from the coronavirus and now facing the effects of global inflation, administration officials said they refused to be identified before the president spoke.
The administration wants to attract more private investment to those countries and at the same time strengthen institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank, so that they offer greater financial assistance.
The White House has detailed a few development goals for the region in a document that includes aspects of sustainable energy, stronger supply chains and more anti-corruption controls and tax issues.
Additionally, the Biden administration plans to announce new efforts to strengthen health systems in Latin America.
In a joint effort with the Pan American Health Organization, Washington intends to offer training for over 500,000 workers industry over the next five years, according to an official who asked not to be identified before the announcement was made public Wednesday.
There is a general consensus that relief or aid should aim for growth and stability. AFP photo
The leaders of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – who have criticized all kinds of regional migration strategies – decided not to attend the Summitleaving Biden without symbolic support and a message of unity.
The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced he was not traveling and appointed Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard as his representative because Washington excluded Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, which send large numbers of migrants to the United States and countries. neighboring.
Before leaving on Tuesday for Los Angeles, where the Summit will be held, Ebrard said so they had not changed Mexico’s close ties to the United States and noted that López Obrador will visit Washington in July.
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso said one of his priorities during the Summit will be to seek solutions the large number of Venezuelan migrantss who are in your country, as well as fighting drug trafficking.
The “Los Angeles Declaration” began to take shape in diplomatic negotiations in Colombia in October and in Panama in April.
Experts who have been consulted by governments say this to a large extent the agreement is promoted by the United States and other countries that welcome many migrants, such as Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru and Panama.
Indeed, the strategy is reminiscent of a US plan that Vice President Kamala Harris announced in July and is calling for safe and humane border management and more paths to legal status.
So far, however, the Biden administration has done little to achieve this.
US authorities they are detaining migrants cross the border into Mexico more frequently than at any time in about two decades.
Under a pandemic-era rule intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many migrants are quickly deported without the ability to apply for asylum. However, the regulation, known as Title 42 and which a Louisiana federal judge confirmed, is applied unevenly depending on the nationality of the detained migrant.
In Eagle Pass, Texas, one of the busiest places for illegal crossings, Cubans walk freely on the Rio Grande and are released in the United States after obtaining a humanitarian permit. They are helped by the fact that Cuba refuses to accept them.
Mexico, on the other hand, has agreed to welcome migrants expelled from the United States who come from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Cristian Salgado, from Honduras, expected to be treated like the Cubans he saw when he illegally crossed paths with his wife and five-year-old son about a month ago. but the US authorities returned it to the Mexican border town of Piedras Negras without allowing him to talk about his case. He remembers a border officer who said: “There is no asylum for Honduras.”