Stakeholder Perspectives on Addressing Migration Push Factors
"Chairman Correa, Ranking Member Meijer, and Members of the Subcommittee: Thank you for the opportunity to testify today before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Oversight, Management, and Accountability.
My name is Ariel G.Ruiz Soto, and I am a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan, independent research institution focused on practical and effective policy options for managing immigration.
Heightened levels of migrant families and children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border are a symptom of a long-standing regional crisis in Central America, and no past U.S. policies—whether tougher or more humane—have effectively addressed the underlying root causes of migration. Thus, the Biden administration’s resolve to engage with our regional partners to address these causes of irregular migration in Central America is encouraging. Particularly, the recent announcement by Vice President Harris to provide $310 million in increased U.S. assistance to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador prioritizes immediate humanitarian concerns resulting from the devastation of two hurricane landings in November and the persistent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, both of which exacerbated the already difficult conditions in these countries.
Meeting the challenges of this crisis requires establishing a flexible, resilient regional migration management system spanning from Canada to Panama. And laying the foundation for this type of system now can reduce boom-and-bust cycles of migration and help manage overlapping crises thousands of miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Addressing the root push factors of migration from Central America through investment and development is an essential pillar of this regional migration system and will be the focus of my remarks. Equally important, however,to this regional strategy is creating temporary labor migration pathways, rebuilding humanitarian protection systems, and ensuring transparent and rule-based border enforcement. [...]"