U.S. President Joe Biden introduced his administration’s migration plan to cap off the five-day convention in Los Angeles in hopes of re-establishing U.S. influence among its neighbors in the Americas.
Dubbed as the Los Angeles Declaration, the “pact” will foresee a series of migrant programs agreed upon by countries across the hemisphere and Spain, a nation that attended as an observer.
As part of the pact, the United States and Canada has pledged to commit taking more guest laborers, a move that can provide an avenue for people from poorer countries to work in countries that are more economically stable. Mexico, in spite of the absence of its president, committed to accepting more Central American workers, as per White House statement. Other countries agreed on providing better protection for migrants.
The U.S., which has been facing a record flow of illegal migrants at its southern border, also committed to giving financial aid for Venezuelan migrants, renewed family-based visa processing for Cubans and Haitians, and an easier hiring process on Central American workers.
The announcement did not disclose any plans about additional work visas for Mexicans.
Around 20 countries backed the declaration, which according to a recent report by Reuters, was only achieved after days of U.S. pressure.
“With this declaration, we’re transforming our approach to managing migration in the Americas,” Biden said. “Each of us is signing up to commitments that recognizes the challenges we all share and the responsibility that impacts all of our nations.”
A director of policy at the Seattle International Foundation, Eric Olson, said the declaration is a “useful framework” but at the same time cautioned that this declaration may only have “limited near-term effects” because it is “non-binding.”
Former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda called the declaration a domestic “political plus” for Biden but he shared: “On substance, there’s nothing here.”
One of Biden’s top priority is curbing irregular migration.
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