VP Harris touts Americas investment to stem migration

STORY: $3.2 billion – that’s how much companies are pledging to help the migrant crisis in Central America.

It’s a major part of a U.S. push whose growing sum Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Tuesday.

Names like Visa and Gap are now onboard to address some of the economic factors fuelling the crisis, and the new numbers lend weight to the agenda at this week’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.

“When we provide economic opportunity for people in Central America, we address an important driver of migration.”

Harris launched the initiative in the middle of last year, and the new commitments add $2 billion to the pot.

Visa’s pledge is meant to help bring people into the formal banking system, while Gap’s will help increase materials sourced from the region.

“This investment is on track to generate, as a result of what we have done so, far tens of thousands of jobs, investments in sectors such as agriculture and textiles. This investment also means that more than 10 million people will have access to banking systems and credit.”

The pledges are a key part of the Biden administration's plan to address "root causes" of migration from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, a region known as the Northern Triangle.

Curbing irregular migration is currently a top priority for President Joe Biden, as record numbers of people try to enter the United States at the Mexican border.

Biden is set to formally kick off the Summit of the Americas on Wednesday.

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