Biden teases migration plan at controversial Summit of the Americas
Well, at least they had each other.
President Biden on Thursday told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau he would visit Canada – before reportedly teasing a migration deal with neighboring countries to the south.
This is despite the fact that leaders of the main countries of origin of illegal immigrants snubbed the Biden-hosted summit unveiling the plan.
Biden privately told Trudeau at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles that he would visit Canada within months, according to journalists Canadian Broadcasting Corp and CTV News. The commitment was not noted in an advertisement released by the White House.
Trudeau is one of the most prominent leaders attending the summit after many others chose to skip it. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reportedly held Biden officials over a barrel, forcing them to agree to a Biden sit-down and that the US leader would bite his tongue over deforestation and local politics in exchange for his presence.
Biden said at an afternoon summit that a new migration plan would be unveiled on Friday — despite the fact that the leaders of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras boycotted the event.
“Each of our countries is affected by unprecedented migration. And I believe that meeting this challenge is our shared responsibility. And I emphasize shared. Tomorrow, some of us will join the proclamation of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection,” Biden said.
“This will bring our nations together around a transformative new approach to investing in the region as solutions that include stability, improve opportunities for safe and orderly migration, crack down on criminals and traffickers who seek out desperate people, and concrete concrete ones Coordinating measures to secure our borders and solve common challenges.”
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan teased elements of the initiative on Wednesday, telling reporters on Air Force One that the plan would “facilitate labor pathways to the United States for both migrants transiting their countries and countries of origin.” .
Sullivan didn’t say whether the idea would require congressional approval, given the record of illegal crossing arrests at the US-Mexico border.
“We will have announcements on labor routes as part of the Los Angeles Declaration and indeed an interesting and very innovative new program between our Department of Agriculture and United Farmworkers to ensure these labor routes achieve the highest labor standards and are not used for abuse or for used a race to the bottom,” Sullivan said Wednesday.
In fiscal 2021, which ended in September, there were nearly 1.7 million U.S. Border Patrol encounters with suspected illegal frontier workers — the most since at least 1986. So far in fiscal 2022, there have been more than 1.2 million encounters with migrants — by by of which around 62% come from Mexico or one of the three “Northern Triangle” countries of Central America.
Republicans blame Biden for the border crisis, citing his calls for Congress to legalize most people currently residing illegally in the US, his campaign calls to admit asylum seekers, and his abandonment of tough Trump-era border enforcement tactics.
Republican-led states are suing to oblige Biden to maintain COVID-19 pandemic policies that allow for expeditious deportation of people suspected of crossing the border illegally, arguing the agency is needed to keep a still to prevent a larger border increase.
Mexican President Manuel López Obrador said Monday he would boycott the summit after the US refused to invite the authoritarian left-wing leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Honduran President Xiomara Castro also skipped the summit — although Vice President Kamala Harris had traveled to Honduras to support Castro at her inauguration in January.
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei declined to attend after the US barred the country’s Attorney General Maria Consuelo Porras from entering the country because of her “involvement in significant corruption”.
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, who has been accused by the US of allegedly failing to respect civil liberties in cracking down on gangs, also skipped the summit.