President Biden on Friday will sign a declaration on migration alongside other leaders from the Western Hemisphere laying out a framework officials said will aim to manage flows of migrants and refugees in the region.
The Los Angeles Declaration, to be signed at the Summit of the Americas being held this week in the city, will have four main pillars: Ensuring stability, promoting legal pathways of migration, having humane border management and coordinating emergency response efforts.
The declaration will call for expanding temporary worker programs to improve the flow of migrants and address worker shortages in the U.S. and elsewhere, and for expanding other legal channels of migration like refugee resettlement and family reunification.
The document will also ask countries located along main migration routes to fortify their asylum processing, more effectively enforce their borders and remove individuals who do not qualify for asylum.
The declaration will call for surging support to countries in the hemisphere with larger migrant and refugee populations, and it will detail actions to combat irregular migration “in a humane and sustainable way,” a senior administration official said.
The official said the declaration will also include support for Haiti in light of its “deteriorating” humanitarian and security situation, but would not get into specifics.
It is unclear how many attendees of this week’s summit will sign onto the declaration, which is one of the main tangible deliverables the administration is touting as Biden is in Los Angeles.
“We don’t expect every country to sign, and as we were developing the declaration and engaging with countries in the hemisphere we were prioritizing countries most impacted by migration and refugee flows,” the senior administration official said.
Migration has been a longstanding issue in the Western Hemisphere, and the U.S. last year saw record numbers of people arriving at the southern border as they fled violence and lack of economic opportunity in their home countries.
Vice President Harris was tasked a year ago with working to address the root causes of migration in the Northern Triangle, which is made up of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. But none of the leaders of those countries are attending this week’s summit amid a broader rift about who was invited and who chose to attend.
Harris announced $1.9 billion in additional private sector investments to boost economic opportunity in the Northern Triangle as part of a larger investment push to reduce poverty, improve quality of life and encourage residents in that region to stay.
Prior to Biden’s arrival in Los Angeles, more than 100 civil society groups called on the Biden administration to make a series of commitments on migration policy beyond any multilateral deal reached at the Summit of the Americas.
Source: The Hill