Michael believes we need to recognize the humanitarian and economic crises in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America. To address the causes of migration, Michael would work with international and regional partners to invest in security, rule of law, and economic stability in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. We should also do all we can to reform the asylum process so that claims are determined safely and efficiently. This includes pursuing alternatives to detention for families with children and low-risk asylum seekers, and funding for advocates and judges to help process claims quickly.
To address the causes of migration, Michael would work with international and regional partners to invest in security, rule of law, and economic stability in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Michael believes we need to recognize the humanitarian and economic challenges in that region.
The number of refugees around the world is at its highest level in recent decades. Michael believes the United States must maintain our leadership in welcoming the world’s most vulnerable fleeing persecution and violence, and reverse the Trump administration’s shameful cuts to the number of refugees who may be resettled in the United States. We must continue to screen refugees thoroughly, in a timely manner, and work with the international community to address the drivers of mass displacement and migration.
Michael firmly believes that we need a strong international affairs budget to address the drivers of mass displacement and migration and to provide support to countries hosting refugee populations. Michael believes we need to approach climate change as a threat multiplier and a source of global instability, and that we must work with global allies and partners to prepare for the political, economic, and security repercussions resulting from climate change. He also supports working with our allies to develop a plan to meet the needs of the millions of individuals already displaced by the effects of climate change.
We should not close America’s doors to asylum seekers in their time of need. That’s why, as Senator, I have introduced the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act which would prevent the detention of primary caregivers, ensure all immigrants receive individual, fair bond hearings by ending mandatory detention practices and requiring proof from DHS within 2 days of detention to show that detention was necessary, and ending the use of for-profit prisons. This bill will hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable and ensures vulnerable immigrants are treated with the dignity and respect that should be expected in this country. Some of this bill’s provisions include:
We need to address the underlying causes of migration from the Northern Triangle of Central America–namely persistent economic inequality coupled with poor governance and insecurity. I am an original cosponsor of the Central America Reform and Enforcement Act which seeks to implement many aspects of my vision for addressing the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle, while also enhancing the oversight of our border and asylum institutions.
The United States of America has a history of welcoming refugees and immigrants. To stay true to our founding values, we should not close our borders and our hearts to those seeking safety and a better life. President Trump’s actions to limit refugee admissions stands in contrast to these values. That’s why I am a cosponsor of the Guaranteed Refugee Admissions Ceiling Enhancement (GRACE) Act, legislation that would prevent a U.S. President from setting a Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions at a level below 95,000 in a given fiscal year. This bill also ensures that each officer responsible for refugee admissions or resettlement treats the Presidential Determination as a goal, and mandates quarterly reports to Congress with specific oversight requirements.
We must restore America’s global humanitarian leadership. First, we need to end the Trump Administration’s cuts to foreign assistance. We must also target our efforts to address the unique causes of internal displacement. In some regions, U.S. development assistance and multilateral support is needed to tackle the effects of natural disasters and climate change through the UN Green Climate Fund, the World Bank’s Global Environmental Facility, and more. In other cases of internal displacement greater levels of financial and technical assistance can make a real impact; in others we must recognize that the causes are often political, requiring robust diplomacy and development aid. On the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I have focused much of my efforts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo; there are a multitude of diplomatic tools and approaches we can use to reduce political instability and unrest, including sanctions, anti-money laundering regulations, and direct engagement with accountable government institutions.
There is a humanitarian crisis at the border, and unfortunately, the Trump administration’s steps are only making the situation worse. Rather than address the conditions that push families out of their home countries, this administration cuts funding and disengages from the region. Rather than provide needed resources to provide timely asylum decisions, this administration wants to build a wall and make it harder to apply for asylum. This is cruel and counterproductive. We need to reinforce our values as a nation of immigrants by allocating resources to care for these vulnerable children and families, provide the capacity for our asylum system to process claims, and address the root causes that are leading families to flee their homes in the first place. We also need to reduce the number of immigrants at the border we are holding in detention, and reinstate and expand case management programs.
I also support conducting a comprehensive review of ICE and CBP to assess how they could be better structured. What is clear from the outside is that we need to reestablish sound immigration enforcement priorities, ensure civil rights and liberties are protected and provide better oversight. If redistributing certain or all responsibilities to other agencies is the best way to do this, then we should. Above all, we need to do everything we can to protect those who come to our border seeking refuge.
The United States must work toward reducing the push factors leading to the mass migration of people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. We should assist regional governments as they implement reforms and work to strengthen overall governance, including by supporting and emboldening civil society organizations dedicated to human rights, good governance, and democratic accountability. Through targeted investments, training, and allocation of resources, the U.S. should bolster and expand programs that build safety and opportunity at home. U.S. aid can be leveraged to reduce violence and combat corruption, while strengthening human rights and the rule of law. This means increasing the capacity of community-based initiatives and other private-public partnerships that protect people, reduce violence and displacement, and provide economic opportunities. The aid should also support effective reintegration for people returning to their home countries, particularly children and families, to reduce the risk that they will be targeted for violence, forced to flee or otherwise be displaced again.
The world is facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Instead of providing leadership, the Trump administration has abdicated its responsibility. We need to restore our place as a global leader in refugee resettlement. I would return to the 110,000 admissions target last proposed by the Obama administration and would be open to going beyond that number. Far from being “full”, many communities like my own have actually lost population and would welcome more immigrants and refugees. It is not only the right thing to do, but in our interest, as it would help grow our tax base and plug labor gaps as Americans age.
I also recognize that while the U.S. can play a far bigger resettlement role itself, we must at the same time encourage our allies to also resettle more refugees. Even still, this crisis is too large to resettle every refugee. I will work with states on the frontlines of displacement crises to provide incentives to move refugees out of camps and integrate them into the labor market and broader society so that their protection is more durable and the host community can also benefit.
While the legal rules for refugees and internally displaced peoples differ, the lives of those affected by displacement are often similar. It is crucial that we provide assistance to countries affected by conflict, violence, and natural disasters that experience high levels of internal displacement. Providing aid to these countries is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.
Foreign assistance should be targeted and adaptive to these contexts, while ensuring accountability to the populations served. We must ensure that assistance is fit-for-purpose for acute emergencies and protracted crises, leveraging the most effective elements of humanitarian and development aid. And, we must ensure that aid focuses on enhancing the capacity of local communities and authorities, particularly in urban areas that increasingly shoulder the burden of internal displacement.
We should use, and work to improve, existing mechanisms, including the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the Kampala Convention. The Kampala Convention provides strong guidance in Africa where protracted crises have generated a disproportionate amount of internal displacement. It underscores the importance of working directly with governments, who are responsible for providing services or helping international organizations provide services.
We must acknowledge that climate change is the major challenge of our time and is expected to induce higher levels of displacement. We must address this head on, focusing on prevention, governance and adaptation to reduce the likelihood and impact of climate-related events and its effect on displacement.
Treating individuals seeking asylum with respect and compassion should be at the forefront of U.S. policy. As the number of asylum seekers, including families and children, seeking protection at the U.S. southern border increases, the U.S. needs to increase the number of immigration judges and asylum officers, while striving to keep families together as much as possible.
The U.S. should revive efforts to productively collaborate with the countries through which migrants travel on their way to the U.S. border in order to develop a regional plan to address the migrant flows. A U.S. strategy to help address the increased flow of migrants to the U.S. would include two critical components, in particular: supporting international and multilateral efforts to stabilize the region and addressing the root causes of violence. Additionally, the U.S. can continue working closely with NGOs and regional partners, contribute multilateral and bilateral aid, and assist in providing security and humanitarian resources.
The U.S. should be an international leader in addressing the global refugee crisis through both leading by example and providing enhanced resources to humanitarian and refugee international organizations that are working on the ground with at risk populations. Additionally, as president, I would reverse the Trump Administration’s immoral cut to the U.S. refugee admission cap while encouraging other countries to increase the number of refugees they accept as well.
The U.S. must implement both long- and short-term strategies to address international internal displacement. By increasing humanitarian assistance through USAID, NGOs, and IGOs the U.S. can help address the immediate needs of those who have been displaced, by providing among other things, food, medical care, education, and shelter. In addition to implementing policies here at home to combat global warming, we should offer climate resilient infrastructure and technical support to countries that have been hit hardest by the warming climate. If left unchecked, global warming will lead to more instability due to harsher droughts, diminishing crop yields, and deteriorating health standards.
The policy of detaining and separating children and families and abusing the detention system to punish asylum seekers is unacceptable and un-American. We should utilize community-based alternatives to detention programs with efficient case management and access to counsel, and establish an independent immigration court to depoliticize the system and ensure due process. In addition to building a more humane immigration and asylum system at home, we must do more to address the root causes of refugee flight. Most people don’t want to leave their homes, but they are fleeing violence, corruption and extreme poverty. Instead of cutting off assistance as President Trump has done in the case of the Northern Triangle countries, we must work with civil society in those countries and international partners to address the root causes that force people to flee.
People from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are fleeing incredible violence, which threatens them and their children. Girls and women are targeted by gangs that operate with impunity. People do not have adequate recourse to effective law enforcement and judiciary to keep them safe. Rather than cutting off assistance as President Trump has proposed, we should support civil society, legal reform, and the strengthening of communities in these countries. That’s why I was an original cosponsor of the Central America Reform and Enforcement Act, which provides assistance to improve rule of law, increase economic opportunity and create more security for children and families in the Northern Triangle countries, while ensuring that those governments are implementing reforms. And when political leaders in these countries exacerbate the problem through corrupt, ineffective governance, it is critical that the U.S. continues to work closely with international partners such as the OAS and the United Nations’ International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. When necessary, targeted sanctions designed to hold individual human rights violators accountable are an important lever in an effort to foster improved accountability and the rule of law. That is why I have cosponsored the Guatemala Rule of Law Accountability Act.
President Trump’s administration has drastically cut U.S. refugee admissions – an outrageous fact given the significant numbers of people fleeing persecution around the world. Among the most drastic cuts were to refugees from Muslim majority countries. I have cosponsored the National OriginBased Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act, which repeals the three versions of President Trump’s Muslim ban, strengthens the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, and restores the separation of powers by limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future travel bans.
Armed conflict, violence against women, religious persecution, and droughts and other significant weather phenomena associated with climate changes have created both refugee and internally displaced populations who need humanitarian and sometimes long term support. According to the UN, about 40 million people are internally displaced – a record number. First and foremost, we must ensure that internally displaced people are safe and being treated pursuant to the international Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, which means working with our international partners to press countries to abide by such principles. Second, we must adequately fund international institutions with the expertise, experience and global trust to provide humanitarian relief and protection. And finally, we must support long term solutions – whether reconciliation or addressing the havoc of climate change – that allow such populations to return to their homes if they choose to do so.
America’s character is defined by its openness to those who come here seeking asylum and refuge. But President Trump’s cruel rhetoric and policies endanger that idea of America as a place of safety and hope for asylum seekers. The next president must ensure our country once again welcomes and efficiently manages claims of asylum seekers recognized under international law, and my America’s Promise plan accomplishes exactly that. I will:
The United States must assist the Northern Triangle nations in addressing the root causes of large-scale family migration to the United States, especially climate change. The decision to end U.S. foreign assistance to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador only encourages migration to America by vulnerable children and families. As president, I will:
President Trump has totally, and intentionally, abandoned America’s values and historical role as a place where refugees and asylum seekers can resettle and contribute to our economy and national life. But the next president must reclaim our historical leadership role and develop an approach that works. I am proud of the action I’ve taken to protect refugees in Washington state. In 2015, we welcomed and took immediate action to protect Syrian refugees when many other governors succumbed to fear about Syrian refugees fleeing ISIS.
That’s why my America’s Promise plan calls for raising the ceiling for annual refugee admissions to the United States to allow for the acceptance of historic numbers of refugees, meeting and eventually exceeding the target of 110,000 refugees that was set during the final year of the Obama Administration. This is a minimum standard for the United States to reclaim its historic leadership role on resettling refugees. The damaging, unacceptable, and arbitrary caps on refugee resettlement imposed by the Trump Administration — which hardline voices in the White House have sought to reduce even further, to as low as 15,000 annually — are reportedly lower even than levels advocated by America’s diplomatic and military leadership. These damaging caps serve only to undermine our international leadership.
Climate change is an urgent and immediate cause of the expanding global migration crisis. It is neither a new nor small factor. Twenty-four million people on average have been displaced around the world each year since 2008 due to extreme weather events. Many others are driven from their homes by indirect climate change impacts force people to migrate in search of food, water, livelihood, shelter, or to avoid conflict. Climate migration is a reality now, from distant places such as Bangladesh to the very shores of Washington state, where native populations are being forced to move inland to save themselves and their culture.
In addition to steps already mentioned, I will:
Bernie believes we must stand up for our values as a country of immigrants and accept refugees, asylum-seekers, and families who come to the United States in search of the American Dream. This is how America was built and it has made our country strong.
What we need in the United States is humane comprehensive immigration reform, which ends the barbaric treatment of immigrant families. The United States can not be about tearing babies from the arms of their mothers.
Bernie believes that when we look at our border today, we must remember that most of the people coming into the country are seeking asylum from violence, strife and poverty– in the same way his own father was seeking asylum.
Bernie supports an immigration system grounded in civil and human rights. We must not let corporate America pick and choose who they want to come into our country. He believes we must stand up for our values and accept refugees, asylum-seekers, and families who come to the United States in search of the American Dream. That means not holding asylum seekers in detention while their applications are processed. And that means ending the for-profit detention center and prison industrial complex. No one should profit from the incarceration of another person.
Bernie believes we must provide aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and strength diplomatic ties. When he is in the White House, our trade policies will be written with the goal of lifting standards of living both in the United States and abroad, and must protect workers in all countries, not large multinational corporations. We must end the destabilizing foreign policy decisions and trade deals that helped contribute to the crises we see in Latin America today.
The United States under President Trump has not lived up to our values and ideals. Bernie believes we must strengthen and expand our support for refugees fleeing war and violence and do our part in the international community to provide relief. We must also pursue a foreign policy that does not contribute to the destabilization that often drives migration, and mount an aggressive response to climate change to ensure the root causes of global migration both now and in the future are addressed.
Bernie has long opposed U.S. involvement in misguided foreign interventions, which leave countries in disastrous conditions and their people in humanitarian crises. We must end the destabilizing foreign policy decisions and trade deals that contributed to many of the international crises we see today.
We will work diplomatically with the international community and with others in the region who share a vision of shared prosperity, security and dignity for all people, to de-escalate the situation. We will provide humanitarian aid and economic reconstruction for those affected by the disastrous wars, and help facilitate the delivery of aid from international partners.
America has a responsibility to lead the global transition away from fossil fuels to green energy-efficient systems. Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement was an abdication of American leadership and an international disgrace. At this moment, when climate change is already causing devastating harm around the world, we have a moral imperative to do our part to preserve this planet for future generations.
Seeking asylum in the United States is legal. We need to address why people are fleeing their home countries — poverty, violence, lack of opportunity, and climate change. We need to increase our
investment in central America and reinvigorate our economic diplomacy to create a hemisphere of opportunity. The review process for families seeking asylum takes too long. The majority of asylum seekers pose little risk to public safety and can be released as they await their hearings. It is inhumane that people, particularly children, are being caged like animals. I would eliminate the use of family detention centers. Nobody deserves to be held in indefinite detention. Holding families indefinitely without due process is a violation of human rights. We must close the camps immediately or risk losing our humanity, and we shouldn’t be reducing the number of refugees we accept.
There is a humanitarian crisis at the southern US border: the number of people coming into the US without papers who can’t be detained and deported — children, families, and asylum seekers — is unprecedented. The spike in unauthorized border crossings — while still below the levels of the early 2000s — is driven by record numbers of families coming to the US without papers: the raw number of children and families entering the US is higher than it’s ever been.
Violence is a problem, specifically gang violence in El Salvador and Honduras: organized criminal gangs frequently operate with impunity, because politicians and police can’t — or, in some cases, won’t — stop the bloodshed. Corruption has led to rot. In Guatemala, especially, poverty is a major driver of migration. This is particularly acute among indigenous populations, who suffer from higher rates of malnutrition and insufficient access to health care and education. Drought and other erratic, climate change-related weather are also factors.
We need to increase our investment in central America and reinvigorate our economic diplomacy to create a hemisphere of opportunity. Improving living standards –and especially improving security– have been known to decrease migration. My administration will commit to support for this region through multilevel responses, from strengthening justice systems to addressing threat multipliers from climate change.
We are witnessing one of the most violent and cruel human rights violations in modern American history. The Trump administration is intentionally and systematically ripping apart families and causing irreversible psychological and emotional damage to innocent children. America has welcomed refugees since our founding. Ours is a nation that leads with compassion — and offers opportunity to those willing to do the hard work to build a better America. It’s about time our practices for those seeking asylum and refuge matched our values.
Our world is interconnected. The United Nations forecasts that as many as 1 billion people will be forced to move because of climate change. Such migration will strain countries’ resources and spur violent conflict. The best way the U.S. can address this situation is by not making the problem worse by working with the international community to aggressively address the climate crisis. As president, I will:
At the southern border, we must immediately unite children and their families and stop the policy of separating families. We must also reverse the policy of mandatory and indefinite detention of asylum-seekers. Keeping asylum seekers detained unnecessarily overwhelms facilities for others seeking refuge. I’m an original cosponsor of the Keep Families Together Act, and as President, I would both move administratively to ban family separations and would encourage Congress to send me a bill like this so we could make it permanent law.
U.S. border authorities should not turn away refugees without registering or even determining if they are truly seeking refuge. We must increase funding for improved processing, medical care, court administration, and legal services.
I voted against Trump’s national emergency declaration aimed at building border walls. This inhuman approach will not solve the problem at our Southern border. We can strengthen staffing and update technology at our ports of entry, and support our Coast Guard, to interdict trafficking without treating refugees fleeing violence and poverty as criminals.
This crisis requires leadership, not showmanship. Any showman can go to the border and demonize immigrants and refugees. A leader would go beyond the border and convene leaders from Mexico and South American countries to support working with Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as any relevant NGOs, to see how we can alleviate the suffering that is driving people to seek asylum in the U.S.
If that requires increased foreign aid, then it’s an investment we should make. It is critical that we keep offering aid through USAID-assisted programs which are proving to be effective in providing alternatives to gang life as they provide jobs and teach skills, provide food, and security to reduce violence. These programs help families stay in place.
We must also continue to dispel untruths about why people are fleeing. We must ensure that the State Department reports are inaccurate in documenting human rights violations by these countries.
I support legislation including the United States–Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act which authorizes $577 million in foreign assistance to Central America for Fiscal Year 2020; imposes targeted visa bans on and freezes assets of individuals engaged in corruption impacting these countries; and enhances engagement with the Mexican government to support development efforts in southern Mexico and strengthen security cooperation at the shared border with Guatemala and Belize. It also requires advance notification to Congress on security assistance to Northern Triangle countries, regardless of the dollar amount for the following three years.
America must lead the world in rendering aid to the world’s most vulnerable, both to maintain geopolitical stability and as a moral imperative.
As a nation of immigrants and refugees, we have a special obligation to welcome immigrants and refugees. President Trump’s reduction in refugee admittances is morally repugnant. We should reinstate the Obama Administration’s level of funding for global humanitarian appeals and increase the number of resettlement slots and legal pathways for refugees by raising the cap above the Obama-era level of 110,000.
We also must reverse two unjust and harmful rules enacted by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions: barring victims of domestic abuse and gang violence from qualifying for protection, and allowing immigration officials to use an asylum applicants’ illegal entry into the United States as a strike against their asylum application.
We also should take a close look at our own role in creating crises that lead to refugee migration, and should hold our allies accountable for violations.
America must offer support and solutions for those displaced by war, famine, rising sea levels, and other crises. During the Obama Administration, America gave more humanitarian aid than any other country ($3 billion) and it ranked first in supporting the UN’s lead agency in helping refugees. That’s a good starting place. We must invest in humanitarian aid to displaced persons and refugees, food, safe drinking water, medical aid, health, sanitation and hygiene services, and shelter for those who have been displaced.
Smart investments in building the resilience of vulnerable communities can ease humanitarian caseloads. We need to scale up recovery and resilience programs to help those affected recover their homes and livelihoods.
President Trump has a robust record of success and we allow that record to speak for itself www.promiseskept.com.
Let’s be clear, there is no emergency at the border – and an immigration system that cannot tell the difference between a criminal, a terrorist, and a 12-year-old girl is a system that does not make us safer or reflect our values. We must hold the Trump administration responsible for its illegal and immoral immigration policies.
I visited the children and families in McAllen, Texas who were torn apart by President Trump’s cruel family separation policy. It was devastating. Our first priority should be reuniting children who are still separated from their parents, stop the deportation of parents who have yet to be reunited with their children, and end this inhumane policy. I’ve co-sponsored legislation that would help reunite families separated at the border, prevent parents separated from their children from being deported, keep families who’ve crossed our borders together, and protect children who have suffered because of these policies. I also opposed President Trump’s efforts to divert disaster relief funds to build a border wall.
America’s diversity, fueled by generations of immigrants from across the globe, makes us a stronger, more vibrant nation. I voted for the 2013 bipartisan immigration reform bill — and I will continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform that creates a permanent solution that provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including DREAMers, and for qualified recipients of Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure, helps us retain talent trained at our world-class institutions, and protects our borders.
The journey to the United States is arduous and dangerous — but still many people attempt it because they feel they have no other choice. We need comprehensive immigration reform that will protect our borders without targeting families fleeing violence and risking everything for a fighting chance for their kids. But there’s also a lot we can do to help address this crisis at its root. We can start by restoring the aid that President Trump cut to the Northern Triangle countries. We should provide them with the resources they need so that families there can build a future and don’t have to flee their homes. Investing in the region to address corruption, improve safety and security, and expand economic opportunity – those outcomes are good for us, too. The United States should act as a good neighbor and lead the push for positive change in the region, particularly for those most at risk.
President Trump’s decision to dramatically reduce the number of refugees allowed into the United States is a failure of moral leadership. President Obama set the refugee ceiling for fiscal year 2017 at 110,000, but President Trump has drastically cut this number since taking office, announcing that the cap would be just 30,000 for fiscal year 2019. Not only has President Trump reduced the cap, but his administration has dragged its feet on actually admitting refugees.
The United States has always been a beacon of hope for people around the world, and the last thing we should be doing is continuing to limit or ban people from entering the country. We can keep our country safe and uphold our values by helping people fleeing violence and persecution. That’s why I joined my Senate Democratic colleagues in calling on the Trump Administration to not only increase the cap on the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the United States, but to also strengthen the federal government’s resources so we could accept more refugees. It’s also why I fought against President Trump’s illegal Muslim Ban. And while the Supreme Court upheld the ban, the American people know it isn’t right. Together we will keep fighting against religious discrimination, xenophobia, and hate – and as President, I will rescind this ban.
We have many tools in the toolbox that we can use to address internal displacement around the world. It starts with putting an end to U.S. involvement in endless wars in the Middle East and around the world; reversing Trump budget cuts to the State Department, USAID, and non-military development programs; and leading efforts to assist refugees through the UN and other multilateral organizations. I’ve supported a number of resolutions and bills that seek to address internal displacement in countries around the world, including the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act and Defeat ISIS and Protect and Secure the United States Act. I also signed a letter urging President Trump to address the humanitarian and political crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where some 3.8 million people are displaced.
As president, I would also return the United States to the Paris Climate Accords in recognition of the role that climate change plays in exacerbating the migration crisis. We must go far further than Paris to reduce global emissions, but we can only do that when we’re leading from the front. We also need other countries to slash their emissions, and that means supplying the world with clean energy products to put us on the right path. That’s why I am an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, and why I proposed a new $100 billion federal program dedicated to working with foreign governments and companies to purchase and deploy American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy technology.
We need to drastically increase funding for asylum courts so that we can hear these cases in a timely manner. We must treat asylum-seekers in a humane manner, not keeping them in cages or separated from family members. We need to ensure that basic services are provided to asylum-seekers. We need to come up with clear guidelines for who qualifies for asylum and stick to them.
Most importantly, we have to recognize that asylum-seekers are humans looking for a better life for themselves and their children.
The poverty rate in El Salvador is 29%. In Guatemala, it’s 59%. And in Honduras, it’s over 60%. These migrants are coming to the United States, despite poor odds for making it or being admitted, because the economic situation on the ground is so poor.
We need to work with our allies in the Northern Triangle in order to improve the situation on the ground. We need to help them build their economies up and diversify them. We need to help the government combat violence in these areas, which is cited by over 20% of migrants as being the cause for their desire to leave their homes. And we need to work with our allies between the Northern Triangle and the US, including Mexico, to ensure that proper security is in place to protect these migrants, and to provide an alternative location to end their migration other than the United States.
The best thing the US can do to mitigate refugee crises is to stop engaging in military adventures overseas that lead to regional destabilization. Since we’ve played a role in the current crisis, it’s important that we work with the international community to alleviate it.
The Trump administration’s moves to minimize the number of refugees we accept is inhumane. We need to ensure that we’re doing our part to relocate a number of these individuals, helping them find a new, safe home. However, we can’t possibly take in everyone who has been displaced, and many of these individuals would do better in countries to which they have closer language or cultural ties. We need to encourage our allies, and increase funding to USAID, which Trump has cut by 24%, in order to take in refugees, when possible, as has been occurring in South American during the Venezuelan crisis.
The US needs to rejoin the rest of the world in directly tackling climate change and investing in climate renewal technologies, providing new developments at heavily subsidized rates to areas of the developing world hurt most by climate change. We need to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, and make and stick to ambitious targets for decarbonization. We also need to take a global leadership position on investment in renewable energy technology and innovation.
Direct aid to countries with IDP crises caused by warfare is a much more difficult problem, as those countries tend to lack the infrastructure to distribute aid well, have corrupt governments, or are actively discriminating against the populations that are displaced. We need to work with regional allies – especially those that share borders with these countries in crisis – to increase the number of IDPs they’re willing to accept into their countries.