Migration top priority at Summit of the Americas

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 2:23 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - At the Summit of the Americas, President Biden proposed a new U.S. economic partnership with Latin America and also tackled record levels of immigration at the U.S. Mexico border.

He stated, “Safe and orderly migration is good for all of our economies, including the United States.  It can be a catalyst for sustainable growth. But unlawful migration is not acceptable.”

The president’s warning came as thousands of migrants are headed to the U.S.-Mexican border in a caravan timed to coincide with the summit.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson explained, “There are practical solutions to our broken immigration system, but they are at the moment I speak politically unobtainable because this has become such a politically fraught, charged, emotional issue.”

Johnson worked with Biden back when the president was a vice president. He said the government needs to be proactive in stemming the number of migrants headed for the U.S.

“There’s more to do in terms of surveillance technology on our southern border, but we have to also make investments, and a lot of people don’t want to hear this, make investments in the countries where illegal migration originates,” Johnson added.

To that end, Vice President Kamala Harris announced $3.2B in corporate pledges aimed at addressing some of the economic factors driving migration from Central America.

The summit, attended by more than 20 countries, has been marred by controversy over the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. They were barred for their human rights records. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and several other leaders boycotted over their exclusion.

The White House pointed out that Mexico’s foreign minister is attending and that all of the attendees have found common ground on food security and the issue of climate change.

Today, President Biden and other summit leaders with sign what is being called the “Los Angeles Declaration”, which will include commitments from the region’s leaders for safe and orderly migration through the region.

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