US mulling cash payments to help curb migration

Migrants crowd a Border Patrol facility
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)

The White House is mulling sending cash payments to certain Central American countries to try to help them battle domestic issues that are leading people to migrate to the U.S.

Roberta Jacobson, the White House’s southern border coordinator, told Reuters in an interview that the possible program would send money to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

“We’re looking at all of the productive options to address both the economic reasons people may be migrating, as well as the protection and security reasons,” she said.

Jacobson declined to state how precisely the program would work, but told Reuters, “The one thing I can promise you is the U.S. government isn’t going to be handing out money or checks to people.” 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

The remarks come as the U.S. faces a burgeoning crisis at the border.

Border Patrol agents in March picked up about 168,000 people trying to cross the southern border, breaking the record for most monthly encounters since March 2001.

President Biden has vowed to send $4 billion in aid to the so-called Northern Triangle region to try to quell violence and corruption that are sending people fleeing north. The money will be geared toward efforts ranging from curtailing endemic corruption, preventing violence, reducing poverty and expanding economic development opportunities.

Jacobson’s interview comes the same day as the White House announced that she is stepping down from her post at the end of April.

“Ambassador Roberta Jacobson’s leadership in serving as the Special Assistant to the President and Coordinator for the Southwest Border at the National Security Council has been an invaluable contribution to the Biden-Harris Administration and to the United States,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement announcing her departure.

Tags Border crisis Jake Sullivan Joe Biden Roberta Jacobson

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