Biden to Host South American Leaders for Summit on Migration

U.S. President Joe Biden is set to host leaders from South American nations at the White House for a summit on November 3, focusing on cooperation for economic growth and addressing irregular migration, according to the White House.

The inaugural Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity Leaders’ Summit will see President Biden outline commitments to bolster and expand U.S. efforts to stimulate regional economic growth. This summit follows a non-binding declaration signed by Biden and leaders from 20 countries in the region during the “Summit of the Americas” over a year ago, aimed at addressing the migration crisis.

In recent years, record numbers of migrants have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, often passing through the perilous Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama. This trend has been driven, in part, by the increase in Venezuelans seeking refuge from economic and political instability in their homeland.

The announcement of this latest summit comes in the wake of the Biden administration’s decision to ease sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector, as part of a response to a 2024 election deal between the government and opposition parties. Simultaneously, the U.S. has resumed deportations to Venezuela, a practice that had been suspended for an extended period.

Biden’s approach to immigration since taking office in 2021 has encompassed both expanding legal pathways for migrants and retaining certain border measures reminiscent of those implemented by his predecessor, Donald Trump, who is a frontrunner in the Republican race for the upcoming presidential election.

As part of its strategy to promote legal migration, the Biden administration has established “Safe Mobility Offices” in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and, most recently, Ecuador. These offices are tasked with expediting refugee processing and facilitating humanitarian and employment permits.

Biden’s approach to border policies has encountered criticism from both Republicans and some Democrats, especially in cities coping with a significant influx of asylum seekers who often arrive with limited support, straining local resources.

The previous summit, held in Los Angeles in June 2022, was marked by the absence of Mexico’s president due to the exclusion of leftist governments from Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. This year’s summit promises renewed efforts to address the pressing issues surrounding migration in the Americas. 🌍🤝

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