Summit of the Americas: Joe Biden presents the Los Angeles Declaration to contain the immigration crisis

United States President Joe Biden speaks as he meets with heads of delegation to adopt a declaration on immigration during the Ninth Summit of the Americas on June 10, 2022 (Reuters/Kevin Lamarck)

Twenty American countries, including the United States, Mexico and many Central American countries, On Friday, they joined in a declaration containing concrete commitments to contain the region’s migration crisis.

The process of signing the document was chaired by the US President, Joe Bidenduring the final day of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, which brings together leaders from across the continent in Los Angeles (USA).

“No nation should bear this responsibility alone”Stressing that not only is irregular immigration to the United States increasing, but “millions” of Venezuelans have arrived in Colombia, said Biden, and immigrants now represent “10% of the Costa Rican population.”

To relieve the pressure generated by these flows, The signatories have committed – among other things – to expanding opportunities for legal immigration to contain the arrival of illegal immigrants at the southern border of the United States, which continues to grow. We need to stop the dangerous and illegal ways in which people migrate. “Illegal immigration is unacceptable and we will secure our borders,” Biden said.

The United States has promised to increase its share of refugees from the Americas to 20,000 by 2023 and 2024giving special priority to those from Haiti, as well as continuing to accept temporary non-agricultural workers from Central America and prevent “abuses” in their employment.

The declaration was signed by the United States, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

Heads of delegation pose for a family photo during the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, on June 10, 2022 (Reuters/Mike Blake)
Heads of delegation pose for a family photo during the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, on June 10, 2022 (Reuters/Mike Blake)

Among those who have not signed it are three countries of origin for many of the illegal immigrants crossing the continent: Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, whom the US government decided not to invite to the Summit of the Americas, considering that they are not democrats.

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Biden particularly thanked the commitments made by Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Canada and Spain, the country that participated in the summit as an observer.represented by the Minister of State for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancella.

Spain has pledged to “double” the number of legal pathways for Honduran workers to participate in Spain’s circular immigration programmesAccording to the White House.

The Ecuadorean president also intervened in the act, William Lasso Which highlighted the need to promote an “integrated, people-centred development agenda”. He stressed that “it is urgent to enhance development opportunities in the countries of origin on the one hand, and on the other hand, to strengthen measures to identify and dismantle international mafias that control irregular migration.”

Second plenary session

On Friday, in Los Angeles, California, The second plenary session of the Summit of the Americas, Where the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and other leaders from the Western Hemisphere are due to present what is described as A roadmap for countries receiving large numbers of migrants and refugees.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stressed on Friday that his country does not need the Amazon region to expand its agricultural business, as part of his intervention at the plenary session of the Summit of the Americas to be held in Los Angeles.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stressed on Friday that his country does not need the Amazon region to expand its agricultural business, as part of his intervention at the plenary session of the Summit of the Americas to be held in Los Angeles.

president Jair Bolsonaro devoted much of his 15-minute speech to the topic of the environmenta topic that the United States has put on the agenda of this week’s Western Hemisphere meeting in Los Angeles.

Commissioner He defended his country’s environmental policy He responded to the accusations that he supports the dismantling of the main lung in the world, stressing that “I don’t need the Amazon to expand agribusiness”

The president also referred to British journalist Dom Phillips and local expert Bruno Araujo Pereira, who have been missing since Sunday in a remote area of ​​the Brazilian Amazon, which is putting civil society groups, environmentalists and political leaders in Brazil on alert.

Bolsonaro also said, “The most precious human good is freedom of speech, work and worship,” adding: “We are a government that believes in God, is conducive to life from its inception, and defends the family.”

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I also leave a message to Alberto Fernandez, President of Argentina, who spoke Thursday at the summit. Bolsonaro was willing to buy gas from Vaca Muerta when it was available, but made it clear that in the meantime, he would continue to buy from Bolivia.

finally, The Brazilian described Thursday’s bilateral meeting with Joe Biden as “simply wonderful”. They confirmed that they were able to “talk at a distance of one meter and without masks for half an hour.”

Chilean President Gabriel Borek (Reuters/Lauren Justice)
Chilean President Gabriel Borek (Reuters/Lauren Justice)

In turn, the president of Chile Gabriel Borek He questioned the absence of the presidents of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba, expressing: “Here we should all be and not all be.”

“I don’t like being left out Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua because it would be different to demand their presence with the urgent need to release political prisoners Nicaragua and demands an end to the unjust and unfortunate embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba at once,” he crossed from the podium.

In addition, referring to the financial situation in Latin America, he said: “We must put an end to tax havens, we must not be attractive to investors because of job insecurity and suicidal competition for tax cuts.”

Colombia's President, Ivan Duque, at the summit's second plenary session in Los Angeles on Friday (Reuters/Mike Blake)
Colombia’s President, Ivan Duque, at the summit’s second plenary session in Los Angeles on Friday (Reuters/Mike Blake)

Colombian President On the contrary, Ivan Duque categorically advocated not inviting the regimes of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. He said: “These summits served as a system of unfettered defense of democracy. The Quebec clause stipulates that Any change or severance of the constitutional order is an irreparable obstacle to participation. Here there are no ideological exceptions, here there is a resounding rejection of any form of dictatorship. ”

Our region is not divided between left and right, between liberals and conservatives, but between those of us who are democrats and those of us who are autocrats.” He distinguished himself from Maduro, Ortega and Diaz-Canel.

“We should we should Defend democracy at all times from tyrants. Some of them rose to power along with democracy, then turned them into “dictatorships” and finally into dictatorships.

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also, Duque congratulated the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, for his “unfettered defense of the Continental Democratic Charter”.. “We cannot remain silent in the face of the dictatorships that overwhelm Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. Silence makes us partners.”

OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro (Reuters/Lauren Justice)
OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro (Reuters/Lauren Justice)

First session

In the first plenary session in the majestic Los Angeles Convention Center, the heads of state of the continent temporarily holding some regional blocs made some points in common but also disagreed. strong Differences that illustrate how difficult it is to achieve lasting harmony on a deeply unequal continent.

“Together,” “unity,” “economic development,” “overcoming inequality,” and the need to do so “soon” and “urgent” if possible were concepts that were repeated in the speeches of Joe Biden (host) and Johnny Briceño (Prime Minister of Belize and President CARICOM), Laurentino Cortizo (Panama and Sica), Mario Abdo (Paraguay and Mercosur), Alberto Fernandez (Argentina and CELAC) and Antonio Guterres (United Nations).

But it soon became clear Unit and wheel do not apply to the same goals.

Biden suggestedWe work together to demonstrate the power of democracy,” He outlined his financing proposals for economic development, improving access to health care, and moving toward renewable energy while tackling the immigration challenge “jointly”. “No matter what happens in the world,” said the President of the United States, “America will always be a priority for the United States.”

But moments later, heads of state Belize and Argentina They went inside Defending the dictatorships of Cuba and Venezuela They harshly questioned Biden about the White House’s decision to exclude Miguel Diaz-Canel, Nicolas Maduro and Daniel Ortega from the summit.

With information from EFE

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