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US and Mexico Join Hands to Curb Central America Immigration

Mexico and the United States have joined forces to create economic opportunities for people in Central America as part of a broader strategy designed to curb immigration from the region.

The US has pledged more than US$4.8 billion, nearly half of which will come in the form of loans and loan guarantees, according to the State Department.

In addition, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which offers government-backed favorable financing to US businesses, will invest up to US$2 billion if it finds commercially viable projects.

Both countries are planning to focus their resources on addressing numerous issues plaguing the region, such as immigration, drug trafficking, and organized crime.

The State Department is reportedly asking for an additional US$180 million for the violence-prone Central American countries in its request to Congress for the 2019 fiscal year.

Mexico, on its part, will pour US$25 billion into a string of developmental programs in its southern states where people from Central America will be allowed to work.

Gang violence and migration have long been a curse for many Central American countries. The United States has for decades spent billions of dollars to curb crime in the region.

These days, homicide rates have been reduced in many of these countries, yet a larger number of residents are leaving for the US. Lack of economic security could be the reason, say analysts.

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The previous Obama administration granted US$750 million to Honduras and El Salvador in return for a commitment by those countries that they would invest a greater sum of money to curb violence and joblessness.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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