No nation should alone bear the responsibility of managing a historic surge in migration across the Western Hemisphere, Pres- ident Joe Biden declared Friday as he and 19 Latin American and Caribbean leaders signed a much-anticipated pact to expand legal pathways for migrants and refugees and provide new funding to assist countries in hosting them.
“Each of us is signing up to commitments that recognizes the challenges we all share, and the responsibility that impacts on all of our nations,” Biden said as he joined a group of regional leaders to sign the so-called Los Angeles Declaration.
https://5d950fae763d974c80c9cf485bafa2cb.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlThe signatories to the agreement, announced on the last day of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, included Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – four countries whose commitments were in doubt after their leaders boycotted the conference over the U.S. decision to exclude several countries it considers to be antidemocratic.
Mexico is a key player in the region, and its cooperation is essential to stemming the flow of migrants to the U.S., while El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras produce a large share of the region’s migrants.
Although their leaders’ absence had cast doubt on how comprehensive migration talks at the summit would be, Biden administration officials maintained that the pact would include a diverse group of countries coping with the surge in migrants across Latin America.
Migration patterns in the Western Hemisphere have shifted as the region has grappled with a pandemic-fueled economic crisis, exacerbated by political upheaval, violence and environmental disasters.
The pact includes commitments from Mexico to launch a temporary labor program for 15,000 to 20,000 workers from Guatemala. The country will expand eligibility for that program to include Honduras and El Salvador “in the medium term,” ac- cording to a fact sheet pro- vided by the White House.
The Biden administration plans to dole out $314 million in humanitarian aid and billions to help promote new programs to accept migrants and refugees in countries such as Ecuador and Costa Rica.