President Joe Biden and others in his administration have attempted to downplay what has become a crisis along the nations’ southern border during the months since his inauguration.
Now, reports indicate that the White House’s strategy to deal with the “root causes” of the problem appears to have hit a snag in the form of criticism from Central American leaders.
“Trying to save their reputation”
According to the Washington Examiner, a number of foreign officials necessary for the U.S. approach to be successful do not seem to be as willing to cooperate with Biden as the administration seems to believe.
As one notable example, El Salvadoran leaders have been vocal in their denouncement of the Biden administration’s immigration policies.
President Nayib Bukele refused to meet with a Biden administration envoy last month and has not yet reversed his stance despite criticism and diplomatic pressure from the U.S. government.
According to reports, the El Salvadoran president has even accused the Biden administration of doing more harm to relations between the two nations than any U.S. president since Jimmy Carter.
One Bukele advisor recently stated that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris “are trying to save their reputation by destroying ours,” adding that White House officials “mishandle the crisis at the U.S. border by allowing in tens of thousands of migrants so they can supply cheap labor to U.S. corporations and are trying to defend their incompetence by casting Bukele as a dictator.”
A precarious plan
The relationship between the U.S. and Central American governments is particularly important within the approach Biden is trying to take.
It includes providing aid to Central American countries while targeting the corruption taking place there on the theory that if the U.S. alleviates these problematic issues, there will be less reason for northern migration toward America.
Biden has tasked Harris with leading up this effort, which requires the cooperation of the foreign nations involved — including El Salvador.
For their part, Mexican leaders have been less opposed to the Biden plan, with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressing a willingness to work with his U.S. counterpart. At the same time, he has not been shy about blaming the Biden administration for contributing to the worsening crisis at the border between their two nations.
Thus far, the Biden administration’s tactics have had little proven success in slowing down the immigration surge.