Earlier this year, President Joe Biden tapped his vice president with addressing the “root causes” of a spike in illegal immigration.
Although Kamala Harris has faced criticism for perceived inaction on that front, she announced this week that a variety of U.S. corporations had committed to invest up to $1.2 billion in certain Central American nations.
Focus on Northern Triangle nations
The idea behind these investments is to spur economic growth and opportunities in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
As a result, the hope is that citizens in those nations will not feel the need to flee northward and illegally enter the United States.
Since the money is coming from the private sector and not the federal government, U.S. taxpayers can take a sigh of relief. The Biden administration is reportedly playing a role as a facilitator in coordinating and directing the funds to where they are needed most.
According to the Associated Press, the latest commitments included initiatives and contributions by Nespresso, Microsoft, and Mastercard.
The White House issued a statement on Monday touting the new investments, which are expected to fund job creation and provide new technological opportunities.
“Our government cannot do its work alone”
Harris reportedly also held a meeting with top corporate executives to lay out the goals of the overall venture as well as highlight progress made thus far.
According to the vice president, undocumented immigrants from Central America generally make the journey to America for one of two reasons: escaping perceived harm and pursuing perceived opportunities. She noted that corporate investments could help address at least the latter factor.
Although she asserted that “the United States has an important role to play in addressing the root causes of migration,” she acknowledged that “our government cannot do its work alone.”
For that reason, she used the opportunity to thank the corporate leaders who have “stepped up” to become leaders in the venture.
While the lofty mission seems admirable, it is worth noting concerns that the rampant crime and corruption in the region could lead to fraud and misuse of the funds being promised by corporations in the U.S.