Readout of the Vice President's Central America Events Today
Vice President Biden delivered remarks today at the Inter-American Development Bank Conference, “Investing in Central America: Unlocking Opportunities for Development.” The Vice President emphasized the Obama Administration’s ongoing commitment to working with Central American countries to help create the economic, social, governance and citizen security conditions to address factors contributing to increases in migration. The Vice President outlined U.S. support for the Alliance for Prosperity in Central America launched by the Presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The Vice President described the U.S. approach as working to promote an economically-integrated Central America that is secure, democratic, and middle-class.
In his remarks, the Vice President underscored the Administration’s commitment to seek significant increases in foreign assistance to support the Alliance for Prosperity, and called on the international community and the private sector to support the plan. The Vice President noted that “urgent challenges demand urgent action backed by political will and political courage.” He also announced that in December the United States would establish an in-country refugee/parole program in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, to allow certain parents who are lawfully present in the United States to request access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for their children still in one of these three countries. The Vice President also used his remarks to reiterate President Obama’s commitment to fix our broken immigration system in a way that strengthens our borders, streamlines our immigration system, and attracts the best and brightest from around the world.
Following his remarks, the Vice President hosted a working lunch at the Blair House for Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, and El Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren. The Vice President and his guests used the lunch to review joint efforts to address the migration of unaccompanied minors and adults with children migrating to the United States, as well as to agree on an approach for sustained high-level engagement and coordination to implement the Alliance for Prosperity in Central America. The Vice President praised the leadership of the three presidents in targeting smuggling networks and tackling corruption, as well as their long-term commitment to addressing the region’s challenges to development. The Central American presidents reaffirmed their commitment to working in partnership with the United States and agreed to regular and active engagement to address the underlying factors contributing to increased migration and advance a regional solution that provides greater economic opportunities for Central America, with strong democratic institutions, with more accountable, transparent, and effective public institutions, and where citizens feel safe and can build their lives in peace and stability. The Vice President was accompanied at the lunch by representatives from the National Security Council Staff, the Department of State, and the United States Agency for International Development.