Vice President Kamala Harris touted her success in fixing the root causes of migration amid a record border surge during a press conference Monday.
President Joe Biden tasked Harris with tackling the issue in Central America in March 2021. Between March 2021 and December 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded more than 4 million migrant encounters at the southern border, including more than 1.2 million Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorians, according to agency statistics. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: GOP Rep Doubles Down On Demands About ICE Data Errors Exposed By DCNF)
“These investments have created jobs, these investments have increased access to the financial system, including to the internet. These investments have allowed small businesses, which have the potential, not only in the United States, but around the world, and in particular this region, have the potential to really thrive if they have access to financing,” Harris said.
“In terms of the product of this work thus far over 1 million people have been brought into the formal financial economy, including 65,000 people who have bank accounts because of our work and four more million people are now connected to the internet. This is part of the progress that we have achieved thus far. Our root causes strategy and these investments represent a long term development effort, but we are already beginning to see positive trends,” Harris said before touting a decline in encounters recorded in January.
The Biden administration has invested $3.2 billion in addressing the issue thus far and Harris announced an additional $956 million Monday to private sector entities. Additionally, the administration will launch a new partnership between the public and private sectors to support infrastructure projects for clean energy development, technical support and labor training, Harris said.
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