OAS chief: 'A long shot' to fix migration from Central America

OAS chief: 'A long shot' to fix migration from Central America
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The head of the Organization of American States (OAS) said it's "a long shot" to fix all the social and economic problems that cause Central Americans to migrate to the United States, adding that more funding to countries in the region is a "good start."
Interviewed on Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin Castro This week: Congress set for bipartisan coronavirus talks as clock ticks Sherman joins race for House Foreign Affairs gavel Castro launches bid for House Foreign Affairs gavel MORE's (D-Texas) weekly podcast, "The Diplomatic Cable," OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro celebrated a June resolution that condemned the Trump administration for separating migrant families at the southwest border.
Almagro said the resolution was reached "supporting the value and the principle that the families should be united, and that we should do everything at our reach, and use all our capacities and possibilities in order to achieve that."
Asked by Castro whether member states were reluctant to confront or criticize the Trump administration, Almagro replied, "No we did not face that."
"If you see all the speeches that were done in the organization, that the resolution was approved were pretty much in favor of the resolution," Almagro added.
The OAS in June passed the resolution – submitted by Mexico and co-sponsored by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – calling for an end to forced family separations of undocumented immigrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
The separations were ordered as part of the administration's zero-tolerance policy, under which the Department of Homeland Security remanded all adults who crossed illegally to the Department of Justice for prosecution.
A majority of separated families came from the Northern Triangle countries –– El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
"And some Americans, many Americans ask the question: What is the responsibility of the nations in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America for example, to make sure that their people don’t feel like they need to flee because of the violence because of the threats there?" asked Castro.
"Yes, that is a long shot," replied Almagro. "I mean to fix all the conditions that we have in the Northern Triangle, in order to avoid immigration to other states countries in the continent, especially to the United States. It ... will be something very complicated and it will be very hard to achieve. Those are conditions related to the level of development, the level of the social conditions."
The three countries are the poorest and most violent in Central America, and have been the main drivers of migration to the United States in the last decade, as migration from Mexico has slowed.
In 2016, the Obama administration more than doubled its aid to the region, to $750 million, as a surge of unaccompanied minor migrants from the Northern Triangle overwhelmed U.S. border authorities.
Aid to the region has fallen to about $615 million per year since then, according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.
"Money’s a good start because everything that you need to do in the northern triangle needs finance and needs support," said Almagro.
"And then of course a lot of knowledge to be transferred too, because of some of the knowledge in order to achieve a better condition of development is not there, and that also has to be provided," he added.
The OAS is a multilateral organization of independent countries in the Americas. It has 35 members, including the United States.