Wednesday, August 10, 2022
United States Signed Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, Joined Twenty Other Countries in Vowing Safer Migration
By Anezka Krobot, rising 2L at St. Louis University
Earlier this summer, the United States joined Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay in Los Angeles to present and sign the new Declaration on Migration and Protection. The Declaration outlines four pillars that each government has committed to upholding: (1) stability and assistance for communities; (2) expansion of legal pathways; (3) humane migration management; and (4) coordinated emergency response.
Along with signing the Declaration, the U.S. has promised a set of concrete deliverables for each pillar. For the first pillar, stability and assistance for communities, the U.S. will announce $314 million in new PRM and USAID funding for stabilization efforts in the Americas, including support for socio-economic integration and humanitarian aid for Venezuelans in 17 countries of the region.
To support the second pillar, expansion of legal pathways, the U.S. will launch the development of a $65 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pilot program to support U.S. farmers hiring agricultural workers under the H-2A program, provide 11,500 H-2B nonagricultural seasonal worker visas for nationals of Northern Central America and Haiti, roll out new Fair Recruitment Practices Guidance for Temporary Migrant Workers with the cooperation of major employers, including Walmart, and commit to resettle 20,000 refugees from the Americas during Fiscal Years 2023 to 2024. The U.S. will also resume and increase participation in the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program and resume the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program.
For the third pillar, humane migration management, the U.S. will announce a multilateral “Sting Operation” to disrupt human smuggling networks across the Americas and improve the efficiency and fairness of asylum at the border. As for the fourth pillar, coordinated emergency response, the U.S. will be involved in the early-warning system that will be implemented to alert the involved countries of large cross-border movements.
“The Americas region is facing a human mobility crisis that is unprecedented both in its complexity and scale. No country can address this situation on its own,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “The Los Angeles Declaration builds upon existing frameworks and brings us closer to a continent-wide coordinated response based on the principles of international cooperation, solidarity and respect for human rights, as set out in the Global Compacts on refugees and on safe and orderly migration.”
Some organizations have been more wary of the Los Angeles Declaration. For example, the Los Angeles Declaration has been compared to the Valletta Action Plan signed in 2015 between European and African states, which the EU defines as “a set of political and operational measures to enhance cooperation between African and European countries with the aim to provide a framework for humane and sustainable management of migration on both sides of the Mediterranean”. In reality, the EU’s implementation of the Valletta Action Plan has focused on containment and securitization, instead. It’s unclear whether the Los Angeles Declaration will follow the same fate.