While the Summit of the Americas met to discuss, among other things, the illegal immigration crisis, a migrant caravan of more than 10,000 is busy marching toward the US. The travelers were not experiencing near the same resistance in Mexico as they did previously. According to reports, the Mexican National Guard didn’t make much, if any, attempt to stop them, except to make them dismount from truck trailers and walk, supposedly to discourage them. Some suggest this is because of the sheer numbers crossing into the country while others say it is because of lax laws in the US causing frustration and disinterest in trying to stop immigration when the American government isn’t doing its part.
Vice President Kamala Harris was tasked with finding the “root causes” of illegal immigration and has shown very little effort except to visit countries to tell them their governments were corrupt, and they needed stronger economies. However, last week, she did announce the launch of the Central American Service Corps (CASC), which the VP says will “provide young people in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with paid community service opportunities, mentorship, and a path to future employment.”
The $50 million initiative will give young people an opportunity to work on improving their communities in these countries, working in areas of “climate action,” food security, “green jobs,” violence prevention, and “civic-engagement” programs. This is supposed to address the root causes by “engaging youth in local driven service opportunities, providing a modest stipend, offering work and life skills acquisition, and enhancing young people’s sense of rootedness and commitment to their communities.”
Mexico has been overwhelmed with asylum requests. Last year, the country received more than 130,000 claims, more than three times what it had received the previous year. The United States has been bombarded with aliens crossing the border – in April, there were more than 234,000 migrant encounters, and the caravan organizers said the current march is three miles long while “people keep joining.”
Meanwhile, at the Summit of the Americas, President Joe Biden was criticized for excluding the leaders of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador – the same areas from which a great many of the migrants are coming. Mexico’s president was offended by the act and refused to go to the summit as well. So, while trying to find ways to stem the flood of illegals crossing into Mexico and the US, the main countries from which people are fleeing were not invited to participate. Makes sense, right?
In Los Angeles, CA, where the summit is held this year, a group of people marched to protest the gathering. “As people from across the Americas, we will march to reject this Summit of Exclusion,” the group announced in a press release. “Biden’s Summit has unilaterally barred Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua from this space of regional debate.”
Summit attendees came up with a few ideas for immigration reform, according to a White House statement. Some of those measures include Mexico agreeing to accept more workers from Central America, providing a pathway for people from poorer countries to be able to work in richer countries, more protections for migrants – and the US and Canada also agreed to take on more guest laborers.
“We’re transforming our approach to manage migration in the Americas,” Biden promised. “Each of us is signing up to commitments that recognizes the challenges we all share.” Some analysts, however, say these pledges are too weak to do any real good.