LOS ANGELES: The United States rolled out a raft of actions to support migrants on Friday as US President Joe Biden and fellow leaders prepare to issue a joint declaration on migration on the final day of an Americas summit beset by diplomatic squabbling.
The Biden administration pledged hundreds of millions of aid to Venezuelan migrants across the Western Hemisphere, as well as programs to support temporary family-based visas for Cubans and Haitians and ease the hiring of Central American workers on Friday.
The announcements are set to accompany a US-led pact dubbed the “Los Angeles Declaration” that aims to create incentives for countries taking in large numbers of migrants and spread responsibility across the region. But some analysts are skeptical there will be many meaningful commitments.
plan caps the Summit of the Americas hosted by Biden in Los Angeles that was designed to reassert US leadership and counter China’s growing economic footprint in the region.
However, that message was clouded by a partial boycott by leaders, including Mexico’s president, in protest at Washington’s exclusion of US antagonists Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the gathering.
At the summit’s opening session on Thursday, leaders from Argentina and tiny Belize took to the podium to rebuke Biden face-to-face over the guest list, underscoring the challenge the global superpower faces in restoring its influence among poorer neighbors.
The declaration, due to be presented by Biden and other leaders on Friday, will call on governments in the region to expand their own temporary worker programs, said a senior US official who previewed the plan.
Some countries are unlikely to endorse the migrant declaration, according to a person familiar with the matter. Some Caribbean states would not approve it, an official at the summit said.