Central America: Innovative ways to address migration’s root causes


U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has increasingly turned to corporate executives from Wall Street and Silicon Valley to serve as informal advisers, policy allies and political boosters as she grapples with a sprawling and at times intractable policy portfolio. Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith, Cisco Systems Inc. Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbins and Citigroup Inc. CEO Jane Fraser are among the leaders whom Harris has sought out, Bloomberg’s Justin Sink writes: 

Discussions with one group of corporate leaders cleared the way for what Harris calls one of her biggest first-year triumphs: $1.2 billion in corporate commitments to help address the surge of migration from Central America. ….The corporate executives told Harris what they saw as some of the core issues driving the migration surge. But they also talked about unorthodox ways the federal government had been able to influence foreign policy crises in the past, from the Cold War through the Arab Spring, through the funding of nongovernmental organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).  RTWT

International actors could also work more actively with the diaspora, adds Charles T. Call,  a Nonresident Senior Fellow with Brookings’ Latin America Initiative. Since people residing abroad do not face politicized police or judicial action in their native countries, they can exercise freedoms of expression and assembly from their new homes. Their voices in social media could help counter government propaganda and defend democratic practices and rights, he suggests.

The Summit for Democracy was expected to garner additional support from advanced democracies for investing in the region, said Eguiar Lizundia and Antonio Garrastazu. Creating economic opportunity in the hemisphere is fundamental to dealing with the root causes of migration, including corruption, impunity and insecurity. Public-private partnerships, as the White House has announced for northern Central America, are an important starting point, they wrote for the Atlantic Council.


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