LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) — U.S. President Joe Biden and other Western Hemisphere leaders will present what is billed as a roadmap for countries receiving large numbers of migrants and refugees on Friday.
The “Los Angeles Declaration” is perhaps the greatest achievement of the Summit of the Americas, which has been undermined by the differences that aroused the list of leaders invited by Biden. The delegations from Mexico and several Central American nations were headed by their main diplomatic representatives after the refusal of their leaders to participate in an event from which Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela were excluded.
Among the principles to be announced on the last day of the summit are legal pathways to enter countries, aid to communities most affected by migration, humane border management and coordinated emergency responses, according to a senior US official who briefed reporters ahead of the official announcement.
It’s a model already largely followed by Colombia and Ecuador, whose conservative leaders received a warm welcome at the summit for hosting much of the six million people who have fled Venezuela in recent years.
The United States has been the most popular destination for asylum seekers since 2017, posing significant challenges for Biden and his two immediate predecessors, Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
But Washington is not alone in this: Colombia and its neighbors are home to the millions of Venezuelans who left their country; Mexico received more than 130,000 asylum applications last year, many from Haitians, triple the number in 2020: many Nicaraguans flee to Costa Rica and displaced Venezuelans make up almost a sixth of the population of tiny Aruba.