Since President Joe Biden took office earlier this year, the U.S. has had to contend with a surge of migrants streaming across its southern border. Now, Vice President Kamala Harris seems to think she has a solution — but it’s likely to leave many observers scratching their heads.
The White House announced Thursday that the vice president had launched an initiative to secure more investments by the private sector into countries in what is known as Central America’s Northern Triangle — namely, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
In a fact sheet, the White House said Harris was calling on “businesses and social enterprises to make new, significant commitments to help send a signal of hope to the people of the region and sustainably address the root causes of migration by promoting economic opportunity.”
Securing corporate investments
According to the Washington Examiner, at least a dozen organizations have already signaled their support for Harris’ efforts, including Mastercard, Microsoft, Nespresso, and Chobani.
Microsoft will reportedly be working to provide internet access to some 3 million people in the region currently without it, while Mastercard hopes to provide 5 million people with personal and small business banking services.
Meanwhile, Yogurt manufacturer Chobani has signaled that it will expand operations in Guatemala. At the same time, Nespresso has committed to purchasing additional coffee beans from El Salvador and Honduras, the Examiner reports.
“Calling on the private sector”
The Examiner noted that these private sector moves will be accompanied by more U.S. government support for “food aid, climate-resilient agriculture, climate resilience, clean energy adoption, and public health” measures.
However, the White House indicated in its own statement that “[s]upporting the long-term development of the region, and in the Western Hemisphere more broadly, will require more than just the resources of the U.S. government.”
“For this reason, Vice President Harris is calling on the private sector to draw on its unique resources and expertise to make commitments to support inclusive economic growth in the Northern Triangle,” the White House reiterated.
But even if the Biden administration’s investment strategy does ultimately bear fruit, the effects will undoubtedly be felt sometime in the far future, and are unlikely to curb the current flow of migrants through the U.S.–Mexico border.
What’s more, it’s unclear how such an approach will stem the tide of violent criminals who have been pouring across the border. Fox News reported Thursday that border agents have seen an over 3,000% jump in the number of convicted sex offenders apprehended in Texas’ Del Rio Sector alone so far this fiscal year compared to the same time period the year prior.
What is the White House doing about that?