According to US agencies, the Biden administration would spend $314 million to help Venezuelan migrants across the Western Hemisphere and restore programs that allow certain Cubans and Haitians to reunite with family members in the US.
The declaration was made during the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, as part of an effort to address migration issues, notably in the United States, where the number of migrants coming at the US-Mexico border has reached historic highs.
On Friday, US President Joe Biden and other summit participants are expected to publish a proclamation pledging a more cooperative approach to migration.
The Democratic president has tried to portray migration as a problem that affects the entire hemisphere, rather than just the US-Mexico border.
Republicans, who hope to retake control of Congress in November’s midterm elections, have chastised Biden for reversing some of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump’s tight measures and attempting to portray the situation at the border as a catastrophe.
At the meeting, the Biden administration urged states in the Americas to increase migrant safeguards while also enforcing borders and deporting those who do not meet the criteria for asylum.
Late Thursday, a senior US official told reporters that the US and other nations will make “specific promises” and that they “expect other countries to do their share.”
Along with the proclamation, the US announced a number of initiatives targeted at expanding legal migration routes and assisting migrants overseas. The commitments included increasing the number of temporary workers from Central America hired in the United States.
The United States has committed $171 million in humanitarian aid and emergency food for Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, according to the United States State Department.
According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the Biden administration would also reinstate programs that allow some US citizens and permanent residents to petition for humanitarian parole to transfer their relatives from Cuba and Haiti to the US.
On Friday, the Biden administration emphasized “extraordinary” measures initiated in April to dismantle people smuggling networks, as well as a law put in place in late May to speed up the processing of asylum claimants at the country’s border with Mexico.
Simultaneously, Biden is urging other nations to enhance their asylum processes and deport those who do not meet the criteria.
“We will continue to give help to nations who are making a concerted effort to strengthen their asylum capacity,” said an anonymous US official briefing reporters on the summit resolution.
The US is hoping that the restrictions would assist to alleviate labor shortages in the country while also lowering illegal immigration.
While the Biden administration promoted the conference this week as a critical opportunity to negotiate regional migration arrangements, officials from Mexico and other nations that send a large number of migrants north did not participate, raising doubts about the usefulness of any joint declaration. That plan was rejected by the Biden administration.