The White House announced on Monday that 47 companies and organizations, including Target and Columbia Sportswear, have pledged to invest a total of $4.2 billion in northern Central America.
This increased commitment, up from the $3.2 billion announced in June 2022, is part of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’ initiative to curb migration by promoting economic growth.
Among the new announcements on Monday, Target committed to increase its spending in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras by $300 million this year while Columbia said it would purchase $200 million in products in the region, creating more than 6,900 jobs over five years.
U.S. President Joe Biden, who delivers the annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, named Harris in March 2021 to lead efforts to reduce migration at the U.S.-Mexico border as crossings began to spike at the beginning of his administration, eventually reaching record highs.
Harris has focused her efforts on addressing the factors that led migrants to leave the three countries, known as the Northern Triangle, including a lack of economic opportunity.
In her remarks on Monday, Harris said migrants come to the United States to flee harm or because they cannot meet basic economic needs.
“People generally do not want to leave home,” she said.
Before a meeting with U.S. officials and private sector representatives, Harris announced a new phase of the effort called Central America Forward, which will focus on broader economic development, corruption and labor rights.
Corruption and governance concerns in the three nations have limited the effectiveness of the Harris push, leading to the cancellation or suspension of projects likely worth millions of dollars.
Arrivals from northern Central America have steadily declined following a sharp rise in 2021 after Biden took office.
During that time, hundreds of thousands of migrants from the region have been expelled back to Mexico without the chance to seek U.S. asylum under a COVID-19-related order known as Title 42.
Makes sense. We should try to move as much manufacturing from China to CA . They are closer to the USA, they have cheap labor, we have more political control over their governments and political and economic stability in CA will reduce the immigration to the USA.
A wealthier CA will also buy more American services and products.
BUT we should do more to eliminate the corruption and crime in those countries
Biden’s America last program