Biden touts ‘transformative approach’ on migration at Americas summit

President Joe Biden touted a “transformative approach” to address migration at the Summit of the Americas on Thursday (June 9).

During the opening speech at the Summit, Biden talked of a “shared responsibility” in the region to tackle the issue.

“Each one of our countries has been impacted by unprecedented migration, and I believe it is our shared responsibility to meet this challenge. I emphasize shared,” he said.

Biden announced at the Summit a number of nations will join the United States in announcing a Los Angeles declaration on migration and protection.

According to a draft document seen by Reuters which was dated both June 6 and June 7, included commitments to work on convening banks to review their financial instruments for migrant-hosting countries, as well as improving migrants’ access to public and private services.

It also lists pledges by Western Hemisphere countries to work together to boost regional law enforcement cooperation, information sharing and visa regimes, while attempting to strengthen and expand temporary labor opportunities.

The White House and the State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether the draft was final.

A government official from a country at the U.S.-hosted summit said the migration pledges and all the other declarations had been approved by the participating countries on Wednesday (June 8).

U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, took office in January 2021 pledging to reverse many of the hardline immigration policies of his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump. But he has struggled to contain record numbers of border crossings.

Immigration has been high on the agenda at the summit in Los Angeles. However, the absence of leaders from Mexico and other countries that send many migrants north has raised questions about how much progress would be made on it.

Washington chose to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the summit, prompting some leaders to stay away.

In recent months, the Biden administration has sought to portray migration as a challenge for all of the Americas, calling on other countries to strengthen protection systems for migrants and expand their access to legal pathways.

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