The United States is not the only country dealing with mass, illegal immigration. Many other countries around the world have the same problem. The problem of refuges fleeing their homeland to escape violence and authoritarian governments. How the problem is handled depends on the country taking in the refuges.

Over the past 7 years the United States have left off sensible diplomatic dialogue and resorted to desperate and brutal solutions such as building a wall, separating families, and military-style tactics like increased armed border patrol and barbwire fencing. The alternative would be to investigate the reasons people leave their countries and deal with those issues instead, without the use of violence.

A world-wide infrastructure must be put in place to accommodate the constant flow of refugees to and from different countries. In addition, those countries that are not providing safety and the basic needs of their people, must be reeducated and encouraged to build a political government that speaks humanly to their existence, with support of the world.

Well, “Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador — whose country is a pass-through for the record-number of people trying to reach the United States — has invited Latin American and Caribbean leaders to meet this weekend to tackle the tide of migrants overwhelming governments across the hemisphere,” according to a report from the Miami Herald.

“The leaders attending Sunday’s summit represent the Latin American and Caribbean countries fueling the record flow of migrants fleeing violence, post COVID-19 double-digit inflation and autocratic regimes. But several are also nations overwhelmed by the number of people moving through their borders, often with the help of human traffickers. The United States is not among the 11 countries invited.


But despite regional agreements and new U.S. policies that rely on Biden’s executive powers, migrants have kept coming to the U.S.-Mexico border. The United States is on track to break records last fiscal year for the number of migrant encounters at the border, which exceeded 2.8 million between October 2022 and August 2023.

So far, leaders Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba and Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, President Xiomara Castro of Honduras, President Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador, President Gustavo Petro of Colombia, President Alejandro Giamattei of Guatemala and Prime Minister Ariel Henry of Haiti have confirmed that they will be in attendance, López Obrador said during a recent morning conference. He said he was still waiting to confirm whether the leaders of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize can make it or if they would send a representative instead.

“The challenges of migration are too vast for any nation in the Americas to tackle alone,” said Marcelo Pisani, the International Organization for Migration’s regional director for South America, adding that the agency seeks “a comprehensive, collaborative regional strategy.”

But despite the high levels of collaboration and engagement on border security issues, López Obrador has at times taken up a confrontational stance toward the United States and blasted its immigration enforcement policies.

He said during a news conference Wednesday that militarizing the border and building walls did not solve anything, and that governments should instead focus on fixing the reasons people leave their home countries, a key tenet of his migration policy. Last month, he criticized the U.S. for sending more than $40 billion in military aid to Ukraine while not spending enough on preventing mass displacement across the Western Hemisphere.

The summit “is also a call for nations that have economic possibilities to help and cooperate. Why is so much spent on weapons? Why is so much spent on war, on irrational things, on destruction and not supporting people who need the basics, who need job opportunities, who need well-being? That is what we are proposing and that is what Sunday’s meeting is for,” Lopez Obrador said.

But Mexico’s president largely focuses on development programs and work opportunities, Brewer said, versus focusing on human rights violations and authoritarian governments whose repression has led to people fleeing the countries — another big cause of mass displacement in the region. The country has also agreed to many requests from the U.S. government and been complicit in violating the legal and human rights of asylum seekers and migrants, she added.

Experts told The Miami Herald that discussions on Sunday’s summit could focus on strengthening communication among the different countries to handle migration issues, addressing the root causes for migration, tending to the needs of migrants moving across the hemisphere, helping countries that are transit points better manage the flow, and exploring the possibilities of new legal pathways for migrants. But long-term solutions remain elusive.

Ruiz Soto told the Herald that in the best case scenario, countries at the summit will “take responsibility for the conditions that drive migrants from leaving their countries of origin.” But he said research shows that fixing the root causes of migration takes decades to reduce irregular migration, and that evidence is unclear that assistance programs like the one Lopez Obrador supports work.”

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