Vice President Kamala Harris released a sweeping strategy on Thursday to address the root causes of migration amid the recent surge in illegal U.S.-Mexico border crossings.
The strategy states that the pandemic and “extreme weather conditions” have exacerbated the root causes of migration, which includes corruption, violence, trafficking and poverty.
The announcement comes as the administration faces a southern border crisis, with migrant detentions hitting 20-year highs in recent months.
More than 1.1 million apprehensions have been recorded during the first six months of this fiscal year, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And a record high of nearly 190,000 apprehensions were recorded in June alone.
While the Biden administration has sent millions of vaccine doses and hurricane relief to Central America, Harris noted that providing such short-term relief is “not enough to alleviate suffering in the long term.”
Instead, the vice president’s strategy promises more sustained efforts to address motivations for migration, including refocusing engagement with Central America.