Biden to tackle 'misperceptions' of immigration policy

 

Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Central America and the Caribbean this week to discuss topics ranging from energy to the surge in unaccompanied immigrant children with top officials.

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A senior administration official on Sunday said the trip, Biden’s second to the region this year, is part of a “stepped-up pace of engagement” in the Western hemisphere that is “unprecedented” in recent history. Biden last week met with members of Congress to consult lawmakers on a range of issues related to the region.

In Brazil on Monday, Biden will watch the World Cup match between the U.S. and Ghana.

On Tuesday, he’ll meet with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Vice President Michel Temer to discuss topics including energy and economics.

Biden then travels to Colombia to show the Bogota government and Colombians that the U.S. “will always be the first in line to support their aspirations,” the official said. Colombians are voting Sunday for their next president.

In the Dominican Republic later in the week, the vice president will place a “special emphasis on energy security throughout the Caribbean” during talks with President Danilo Medina, the official added.

On Friday, Biden will travel to Guatemala to meet Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, the president of El Salvador, and a senior official of the Honduran government.

There, Biden will discuss the rise in unaccompanied immigration children to the U.S.

“The surge is an issue of great concern to us,” said the official, who added that the administration’s “top priority” is to manage the situation.

“We also realize the importance of stemming the tide of immigration,” the official said, pointing to violence in Central America and a lack of opportunities in the region.

While in Guatemala, Biden also discuss “misperceptions” of U.S. immigration policy, the official said, adding that unaccompanied immigrant children are still going through removal proceedings.