On Monday, September 26, 2022, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall welcomed representatives from countries across the Western Hemisphere to the White House to launch the implementation process of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection. The Declaration was announced by President Biden and fellow heads of state from across the hemisphere at June’s Summit of the Americas.
Representatives from the Argentine Republic, the Federative Republic of Brazil, Canada, the Republic of Chile, the Republic of Colombia, the Republic of Costa Rica, the Republic of Ecuador, the Republic of El Salvador, the Republic of Guatemala, the Co‑operative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Haiti, the Republic of Honduras, Jamaica, the United Mexican States, the Republic of Panama, the Republic of Paraguay, the Republic of Peru, and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay joined senior U.S. Government officials to reaffirm their respective governments’ commitments to the principles of the Los Angeles Declaration and launch a shared implementation plan to advance a regional response to migration management.
During their remarks, Mr. Sullivan and Dr. Sherwood-Randall reiterated that irregular migration and forced displacement in the Western Hemisphere have changed dramatically from past decades – requiring new, coordinated regional solutions to meet a growing challenge. Consequently, endorsing governments reaffirmed their readiness to deepen cooperation and align policies to reduce irregular migration.
U.S. Government representatives also outlined the progress the Biden-Harris Administration has made on its commitments under the Los Angeles Declaration, including disrupting human smuggling networks, increasing opportunities for labor migration, expanding refugee resettlement from the region, and redoubling support to countries that host large migrant populations.
The United States and other Los Angeles Declaration endorsing countries will continue close coordination on this effort at the October 6 Los Angeles Declaration meeting of Foreign Ministers in Lima, Peru.
Following the Los Angeles Declaration launch, countries committed to:
- A shared implementation plan to make good on the commitments and principles of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection.
- Country leads for joint plans of action along the Los Angeles Declaration’s thematic areas. Those include promoting stability and assistance for displaced populations, legal pathways as an alternative to irregular migration, and humane border management.
- Reconvening at the Foreign Minister level to ensure continuing progress.
- Announcing additional achievements and new lines of effort at the October 6 meeting of Foreign Ministers in Lima, Peru.
The United States continues to fulfill commitments made under the Los Angeles Declaration in June of 2022:
- Last week, the State Department announced $376 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Venezuela regional crisis.
- The United States approximately doubled the number seasonal labor visas for Northern Central America this year and significantly expanded the program for Mexican nationals.
- The United States relaunched the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) program and is surging staff to accelerate case processing.
- The State Department announced that, beginning in early 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Havana will resume full immigrant visa processing for the first time since 2017, which will provide Cubans seeking to come to the United States an alternative to migrating irregularly.
- The United States made over 5,000 arrests in five months as part of a concerted law enforcement campaign cracking down on the multi-billion-dollar human smuggling networks preying on vulnerable migrants.
- The United States significantly expanded refugee resettlement from the region, including for Haitian, Venezuelan, and Nicaraguan nationals.
Other countries in the region have also stepped up to deliver swiftly on commitments made under the Los Angeles Declaration:
- Mexico is modeling a commitment to all the pillars of the Los Angeles Declaration, providing access to asylum, expanding labor programs, while humanely managing its borders. Going forward, we are actively considering new ways we might expand cooperation with Mexico to target human smugglers and reduce irregular migration to our shared border.
- Ecuador successfully launched a regularization program for Venezuelans in the country, providing an opportunity for stability and integration for more than 500,000 displaced Venezuelans.
- Belize successfully launched a regularization program for Central American and Caribbean migrants and refugees present in the country who had been in irregular migratory status.
- Guatemalan authorities dismantled a deadly transnational human smuggling organization. This major disruption was the result of more than a year of bilateral law enforcement cooperation between our two countries.
- Canada recently announced three new projects to bolster support for displaced persons and their host countries, including responding to protection needs of individuals in vulnerable situations in Panama and Costa Rica, strengthening the capacity of governments and civil society organizations in the Western Hemisphere to develop and implement effective and humane migration policies, and bolstering the United Nations Refugee Agency’s efforts to support asylum capacity development in Panama.