The White House is reportedly considering providing cash as well as COVID vaccines to Central American governments as part of a broader plan aimed at preventing their citizens from migrating to the United States.
Countries in the Northern triangle region — Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador — may receive the cash, reported Reuters citing Roberta Jacobson, the White House’s southern border coordinator.
Everyday, thousands of people from Central America try to illegally enter the U.S. through the country’s border with Mexico. Stemming the flow of these illegal immigrants has long been a focus for U.S. administrations.
The U.S. border patrol agents arrested as many as 168,000 people in the month of March alone.
Extreme poverty and gang violence are the major factors behind the immigration while the Covid-19 pandemic is a new addition to the series of problems the Central Americans are trying to deal with.
Analysts argue that the cash transfer program is not sustainable, agreeing that donating vaccines may help reduce the flow of immigrants for the time being.
President Joe Biden has already sought approval for US$4 billion in development aid to Central America. However, the U.S. Congress has not approved the fund yet.