Vice President Kamala Harris released a five-pronged strategy Thursday that she touted would get at the root causes of migration amid the Biden administration’s southern border crisis.
“In Central America, the root causes of migration run deep — and migration from the region has a direct impact on the United States,” Harris wrote in a cover letter discussing the plan. “For that reason, our nation must consistently engage with the region to address the hardships that cause people to leave Central America and come to our border.”
The administration’s strategy is divided into five parts.
Part one involves “addressing economic insecurity and inequality” in Central America. Part two, the administration said in a fact sheet Thursday morning, entails “combating corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of law” in those countries.
Part three focuses on “promoting respect for human rights, labor rights, and free press,” while part four addresses “countering and preventing violence, extortion, and other crimes perpetrated by criminal gangs, trafficking networks, and other organized criminal organizations.”
Lastly, part five deals with “combating sexual, gender-based, and domestic violence.”
The plan rigidly adheres to previous statements supporting short-term relief for migration pressures while promising sustained attention to long-term motivations for people to leave their countries.
The Biden administration’s undoing of former President Donald Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that President Biden is inviting them to cross the border.
Insisting that the border was not facing a crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in early March that the problems the agency faced should be blamed on the previous administration.
As the crisis heated up, Biden tapped Harris to address the diplomatic measures related to its “root causes.” However, despite intense pressure, she had declined to commit to going to surveil the situation for herself for the first three months as border czar.
In her Thursday cover letter, she acknowledged that there was much work to be done.
“We will build on what works, and we will pivot away from what does not work,” she wrote. “It will not be easy, and progress will not be instantaneous, but we are committed to getting it right.”
With Post wires