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The leaders of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were all missing from the Summit of the Americas so far this week, just as the Biden administration pushed its call for international cooperation on the migrant crisis – and as the numbers continue to pile up on the US southern border.
Mexican President Andrew Manuel Lopez Obrador was not present at the Los Angeles summit – as not all countries were invited – and the presidents of the three Northern Triangle countries also decided to snub the event. However, all sent their foreign ministers and Lopez Obrador said he would visit Washington D.C. in July to discuss immigration and push for US investment in Central America to help address root causes. of migration.
HARRIS, AT AMERICAS SUMMIT, DOUBLE UP ON EXPLANATING ‘ROOT CAUSES’ FOR MIGRANT CRISIS
Their lack of attendance was even more striking given the administration’s focus on migration at the summit – which they say requires intense international cooperation to address the migrant crisis by addressing the “root causes”. “like poverty, violence and climate change.
Mateo Haydar, Latin America research assistant at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News Digital that “the Biden administration’s complete lack of leadership has isolated the few governments that worked for us to curb illegal immigration there. just a few years old. These countries perceive weakness in the Biden administration, so there is no incentive to cooperate on US interests.”
Haydar continued, “It’s also illusory. The Biden administration claims to be signing a ‘historic declaration on migration.’ What it intends to negotiate or agree to without the presidents of Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries is absolutely not clear.”
Biden announced a new economic partnership plan and said there would be a statement this week that would include “an integrated and groundbreaking new approach to managing migration and sharing responsibility across the hemisphere.”
“Safe and orderly migration is good for all of our economies, including the United States. It can be a catalyst for sustainable growth,” he said. “But illegal migration is not acceptable. And we will enforce our borders, including through innovative and coordinated action with our regional partners.”
But the leaders’ no-shows suggest they may be less inspired by the Biden plan than US tensions have been before. Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammatei told Fox News in December that he had not heard from Vice President Kamala Harris – who last year was tasked with leading diplomatic outreach to combat “root causes” since June. They then spoke in January.
Harris used the summit to announce that his “Call to Action” has now raised more than $3.2 billion in private sector investment in Central America, including countries whose leaders have not shown up. .
These investments include a $700 million investment by Millicom to expand mobile and broadband networks in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Visa has committed to investing more than $270 million to expand financial inclusion and digital infrastructure.
Previous investments have included Microsoft and Nespresso – which have pledged to invest $150 million in the region, including coffee shipments from Honduras and El Salvador.
In her Wednesday speech, Harris touched on the hypothesis of a single mother in Honduras with no education who would then benefit from a job at a beverage company investing in the region – combined with an aid program offering her children the lunch and a finance company opening a bank account for her.
BIDEN HEADS TO SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS AMID TURMOIL OF EVENTS, MEXICAN PRESIDENT BOYCOTT
In turn, a telecommunications company invests in the Internet in the hypothetical city of women and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) gives it a grant to create an ecotourism business, which in turn expands and allows you to hire employees.
“This story illustrates what I believe is possible when governments and businesses truly embrace our approach. This scenario is therefore our vision for millions of people as part of our strategy to tackle the root causes of migration in from Central America,” she said.
However, border crossings continued to soar despite Harris’ efforts. There were more than 234,000 migrant crossings in April, and officials have warned the situation could worsen over the summer. The administration, meanwhile, is considering a plan to relocate migrants deeper into the United States to reduce overcrowding at the border.
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A DHS spokesperson told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that no decision has yet been made.
Fox News’ Ben Evansky and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
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