President Biden will hold a meeting with regional governments to sign a declaration that aims to address migration at the Summit of the Americans.
The Los Angeles Declaration on Migration “is an unprecedented and ambitious step by the United States and regional partners to work together to address the migration crisis in a comprehensive manner,” a senior administration official said.
The meeting to sign the declaration will be on Friday, which is the last day of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.
The official said the president would speak about mobilizing leaders around a “bold new plan that is centered on responsibility sharing and economic support for countries that have been most impacted by refugees and migration.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday confirmed he will not be present at the Summit after he threatened to pull out of the event for weeks, citing refusals by the U.S. to invite the leaders of Cuba and Nicaragua and representatives of the Maduro government in Venezuela.
Officials expressed confidence that Mexico will sign onto the declaration, despite López Obrador’s snub. The Mexican president said Monday that Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard will attend in his place.
“We are very confident that the countries that will sign on to the Declaration on Migration will be committed to its goals and that includes—just to clarify—that includes Mexico,” the official said, adding that the Mexican government has been “a full participant” in the development of the initiative.
“We believe in every way that they are fully committed to it,” the official said. The official also expressed optimism that “significant business” can get done without participation from some heads of governments who are sending other government officials in their place.
The declaration, according to officials, is closely tied to the economic agenda that Biden will present at the summit in his inaugural ceremony speech on Wednesday. The America’s Partnership for Economic Prosperity is part of the administration’s efforts to promote an equitable recovery in a hemisphere after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The economic agenda will focus on five areas, including reinvigorating regional economic institutions and mobilizing investments, updating the social contract between governments and people, creating a resilient supply chain, a focus on decarbonization, biodiversity, and clean energy jobs, and creating sustainable and inclusive trade.
Biden will also announce an over $300 million investment in assistance for the region to address food insecurity.
Updated 7:42 p.m.