Biden and Harris Unveil Strategies to Tackle ‘Root Causes’ of Immigration


The Biden administration on Thursday rolled out its strategies to tackle the root causes of immigration, a step officials call an “essential component” of efforts to establish a “fair, orderly and humane immigration system.”

President Biden in March asked Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the administration’s diplomatic efforts to address the “root causes” of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

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“In Central America, the root causes of migration run deep and migration from the region has a direct impact on the United States,” Harris said in a statement. “For this reason, our nation must constantly engage with the region to deal with the challenges that cause people to leave Central America and come to our border.”

The vice president, deploying the new strategies, said that under the Biden administration, she and the president had “re-launched” the United States’ engagement with the governments of Central America to create a “comprehensive” strategy for tackle the root causes of migration.

“First, addressing the root causes of migration is essential to our overall immigration effort,” said Harris. “Second, providing relief is not enough to stem migration from the region.”

Harris said the root causes “must be addressed both in addition to and outside relief efforts.”

“In everything we do, we must focus our efforts on the most important areas of migration and ensure that these programs meet the highest standards of accountability and efficiency,” said Harris.

“Third, unless we address all of the root causes, the problems will persist,” Harris added, noting that it is the administration’s “goal” to tackle “corruption” in the region and ” alleviate the lack of economic and educational resources “. opportunities in the field. ”

“Fourth, and most importantly, the United States cannot do this job alone,” Harris said. “Our strategy is far-reaching and focuses on our partnerships with other governments, international institutions, businesses, foundations and civil society.

Harris said that at this point the governments of Mexico, Japan and Korea, as well as the United Nations have joined the United States in providing “support” to the region.

Harris also called on the private sector, in the United States and abroad, to invest in the region.

“Private sector investments not only boost economic opportunities, but also spur regional governments to create the conditions on the ground to attract such investments,” Harris said.

“Ultimately, our administration will consistently engage in the region to address the root causes of migration. We will build on what works and we will move away from what does not,” Harris said. “It won’t be easy and progress won’t be instantaneous, but we are committed to doing it right.”

She added: “Because we know that the strength and security of the United States depends on the implementation of strategies like this.”

The root cause strategy “identifies, prioritizes and coordinates actions aimed at improving security, governance, human rights and economic conditions in the region”, while integrating various tools of the US government, including “the diplomacy, foreign aid, public diplomacy and sanctions ”.

Senior administration officials said the strategy’s implementation would rely on the expertise of a wide range of U.S. departments and agencies, with support from governments inside and outside of the country. region, private sector, Congress, etc. Officials said the United States would coordinate a “place-based” approach, targeting areas from which migrants are most likely to come.

The strategy, officials said, was divided into five pillars: tackling economic insecurity and inequality; fight corruption, strengthen democratic governance and advance the rule of law; promote respect for human rights, labor rights and a free press; counter and prevent violence, extortion and other crimes perpetrated by criminal gangs, trafficking networks and other organized criminal organizations; and the fight against sexual, gender-based and domestic violence.

The administration also rolled out its migration strategy on Thursday, which officials called the US government’s first strategy focused on strengthening cooperative efforts to manage safe, orderly and humane migration in North and Central America.

The migration strategy includes efforts to stabilize populations in acute needs; expand access to international protection; expand access to protection in countries of origin; improve and expand temporary work programs in the region with worker protections; assist and reintegrate returnees; promote “safe and humane” border management; strengthen regional public messages on migration; and expanding access to “legal avenues” for protection and opportunities in the United States.

Senior administration officials said Biden and Harris “inherited a broken and dysfunctional system,” acknowledging that there were “a number of issues that pre-existed the Trump administration,” but said that the Trump administration “made them worse”.

“For this strategy to be successful, we will need to undertake sustained efforts, which is both hard work over time, but also a very hard approach to make an impact on the ground for the people in the region who are suffering so severely. . . ”

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The administration’s strategies come as migrant crossings into the United States through the United States-Mexico border have peaked in 10 years.

More than 188,000 migrants were met in June. Meetings of family units, meanwhile, jumped 25% to 55,805 from 44,746 in May.

Fox News’s Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

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