BY ISN STAFF | February 4, 2022
One year after the announcement of the Biden-Harris administration’s strategy to address the drivers of migration from Central America and humanely manage migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Root Causes Initiative, a coalition of grassroots and faith-based organizations in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and the U.S. has released a comprehensive report on the administration’s actions and progress.
The Year One Assessment of the Biden-Harris Root Causes Strategy draws on the analysis of civil society organizations and publicly available data, and includes a review of the $400 million in foreign aid committed to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in 2021. The report evaluates the administration’s strategies and provides critical recommendations in four key areas in order to effectively address the major drivers of forced migration in the region: advancing the rule of law; localizing effective aid; promoting broad based economic inclusion; and promoting humane immigration policies, including legal pathways to migrate and the restoration of asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Root Causes Initiative has engaged the Biden-Harris administration extensively since sharing its Policy Framework on the Root Causes of Migration at the beginning of 2021, which is grounded in the direct experience of grassroots organization and sending communities in Central America and is supported by over 340 organizations and faith leaders in the region and in the United States.
Ursula Roldán, an instructor at the Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala and member of the Root Causes Initiative, said, “We stand at a pivotal moment for addressing economic, political security and justice in Central America and this is a time for the United States to redouble and strengthen its efforts to address the root causes of migration. As communities impacted by the reality of forced migration, we commit to continuing to work with the Biden-Harris administration to make real change and build opportunities for people to thrive at home.”
“It is time for the Biden-Harris administration to fully lean into their Root Causes Strategy and produce the concrete changes that are so urgently needed,” said Joe Fleming, senior advisor for faith leader strategies with Faith in Action.
“At this one year mark,” said Dylan Corbett, executive director of the Hope Border Institute, “we need to recognize that the Biden-Harris administration still has a once in a generation opportunity to change course in Central America and make meaningful change. To do so, this administration will have to recommit to listening and walking alongside local leaders who have a prophetic vision for the future of their communities.”