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Policy Experts Address Root Causes of Migration From the Northern Triangle, Potential Solutions and the Biden-Harris Plan

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You can listen to a recording of the call here


On today’s call, western hemisphere policy experts went in depth on the challenges facing the people of the Northern Triangle, discussing the acute and root causes of migration to the U.S. southern border and potential solutions from the Biden-Harris administration. The panelists discussed the need to offer bold, creative solutions—including targeted food and monetary assistance in response to recent natural disasters and the ongoing pandemic, legal pathways to immigration, foreign policy tools, anti-corruption reforms, and more.

“All families should be able to prosper and live in safety in Central America,” Adriana Beltrán, Director for Citizen Security at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). But widespread, systemic corruption means certain politicians and their allies are stealing public funds, undermining rule of law, and hijacking security and justice institutions. The Biden-Harris administration can help build a better future for all Central Americans by supporting courageous anti-corruption reformers, who are fighting to build communities where everyone is safe and where the corrupt are brought to justice.” 

Anya McMurray, Senior Director, Immigration at Emerson Collective, said, “We cannot get stuck lamenting the lack of solutions. There are solutions. They may not be easy, and they will certainly require a new approach, a new level of priority for the region. But with persistence, political courage and creativity, the United States can stand with the people of Central America, improve conditions on the ground and generate hope for a brighter future at home.”  

Dan Restrepo, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, said, “People are on the move from northern Central America for multiple reasons, the United States not only should, it can, boldly address each of those reasons. Doing that means aiding those facing acute crisis and catalyzing efforts to confront the corrupt power structures that stand in the way of eliminating the root causes of migration.“

Noah Bullock, Executive Director at Cristosal, said, “At a time when journalists, environmental and pro democracy advocates are under attack, the United States has a unique opportunity and responsibility to provide political backing and financial support to reduce the cost of working for change in Central America.”

“There is great potential for the United States to engage local and community based partners in Central America to deliver relief after the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic and massive hurricane in the region. The relief package should be ambitious and innovative, combining vaccine and medical supplies, food and housing support, but also AmeriCorps and Civilian Conservation Corp style job programs and public works projects.”