On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris announced $1.2 billion in investments from private companies to address the root causes of immigration from Central America. Harris said the investments came from seven companies and will go toward boosting the economies and social infrastructure in countries where immigration is most pronounced. The announcement comes one month after the United States recorded Southwest border land encounters with 164,303 migrants in October, more than double the 71,939 encounters from a year prior. Harris has been put in charge of the White House’s strategy on migration, and said the Biden administration seeks to focus on addressing the root causes of migration to stem the flow of people crossing the southern border.
Harris issued a call to action in May to assist El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. She said during a meeting on Monday with executives: “Six months ago, we had a commitment of $750 million. Today, we have a commitment of over $1.2 billion. This is not about us coming in and telling anyone what they should do. It is about being partners and assisting and helping to facilitate the natural desire of the people in these nations. This is important work. This is good work. I think it reflects the best of who we are as the United States recognizing our responsibility as neighbors to these countries in the Western Hemisphere.”
The seven companies include PepsiCo, Mastercard, Parkdale Mills and Cargill. PepsiCo said it plans to designate $190 million for investments in Central America, including improving manufacturing plants. Cargill, meanwhile, plans to invest $150 million in farming operations in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Parkdale Mills said it will build a $150 million yarn spinning site in Honduras, and Mastercard said it will invest $100 million to boost e-commerce in Central America.
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