Kamala Harris announces her desire to keep Central American migrants in the United States
The US vice president works with companies like Target and Nestle to create jobs and a more attractive lifestyle in crisis-hit areas.
Washington: US Vice President Kamala Harris announced nearly $US1Billion in new pledges from private companies to support Central American communities. This is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to stop migrants fleeing towards the US borders.
Ten companies, including Target, Columbia Sportswear and Nestle, announced that they would collectively invest $US950 million ($1.3million) in projects in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to support farmers and create jobs in textiles, as well as invest in telecommunications.
This effort comes as the US-Mexico border crossings remain at record highs. This poses logistical and humanitarian problems for President Joe Biden, and draws intense criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill.
It was added to the commitments of businesses through the Partnership for Central America. This non-profit organization was established in mid-2021 to support Harris' efforts to rally support for Central America. The partnership previously announced that it would spend $US3 billion from a variety of companies in the future.
According to her aides, the idea is to address the root causes of migration, which she calls poverty, corruption and climate change.
Although officials from the administration claimed that the program had already produced results, they admitted to reporters that they couldn't specifically document these effects. Officials claimed that migration from these three countries has fallen 71% since mid-2021.The White House stated in a factsheet that "Around 47 companies and organizations are collaborating across finance, textiles and attire, agriculture, technology telecommunications, and non-profit sector to strengthen the region’s economic security."Ajay Banga, a former executive chair of Mastercard, and one of the business executives who collaborated with Harris to raise money for Central America said that it was unlikely that it would make a difference in the coming months or even years.
Banga and others stated that they were impressed by Harris' preparation and ability to ask well-informed questions behind closed doors. He said that the administration's focus was crucial to the success of the project, as it focused on oversight in investing the funds and deterring illegal immigration.
There are also other challenges. People who have been working with the administration for the past year-and-a-half said that private investment is not sufficient as the United States competes against other countries, particularly China, for investment in this region.
Some executives of companies that pledged millions of dollars over the next five-years or so stated that they would also need regulatory changes to adjust tariffs to ensure their long-term success.
They will also require infrastructure to support their investments, such as roads, internet and electricity. Both of these are important aspects that China has adopted as it expands its investments in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.The program would help companies get funding from the US International Development Finance Corp. It also creates a Northern Central America Investment Facilitation Team to promote economic development.