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Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection Lima Ministerial Meeting

On October 6, foreign ministers and representatives from among the twenty-one endorsing countries of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection met in Lima, Peru, to advance the shared response to irregular migration and forced displacement throughout the Western Hemisphere. Endorsing countries reaffirmed their commitment to creating conditions for safe, orderly, humane, and regular migration and, in line with the Los Angeles Declaration’s three thematic pillars of action: 1) stability and assistance for communities; 2) regular pathways for migration and international protection; and 3) humane migration management.

At the Los Angeles Declaration Ministerial Meeting, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced over $240 million in new humanitarian and security assistance from the Department of State to address the immediate drivers and root causes of irregular migration, as well as assist those forced to flee. This includes nearly $82 million in humanitarian assistance and over $160 million in bilateral and regional assistance. Along with the nearly $575 million in additional humanitarian assistance announced since September 21, the Department of State and USAID have this month announced nearly $817 million in new assistance supporting our efforts under the Los Angeles Declaration.

The countries published a joint statement formally launching implementation and announcing country leads and participation under the various Action Packages which will develop concrete, shared lines of effort over the coming year.

Foreign ministers and representatives from among the 21 endorsing countries presented progress on existing commitments made under the Los Angeles Declaration and announced new initiatives and programs.

Pillar 1: Stability and Assistance for Communities

  • Belize launched an amnesty program to register asylum seekers, refugees, and vulnerable migrants from August 2 through November 30. More than 5,000 migrants have applied for amnesty, and this number is expected to increase. The government has opened registration offices all over the country and has launched a very successful nationwide program. (advancing existing commitments)

  • Canada announced it would provide $55.9 million in development projects to spur job creation in Latin America. (new)

  • Colombia will maintain its regional leadership in migrant regularization by completing the issuing of protection permits to all Venezuelan migrants in its territory and exploring new regularization pathways for other migration flows. (advancing existing commitments)

  • Costa Rica committed to work with the United States and international organization partners to develop and implement a new Temporary Complementary Protection Program (TCPP). (advancing existing commitments)

  • Ecuador published August 17 guidelines and start dates for the registration of migrants in the country. By October 1 more than 105,000 of the estimated 324,500 Venezuelan migrants who entered regularly had registered for phase 1 of the registration process. Phase 2 will benefit approximately 200,000 non-Venezuelan migrants. Phase 3 will allow the regularization of approximately 200,000 Venezuelans entered irregularly. Phases 2 and 3 will start in early 2023. (advancing existing commitments)

  • Guatemala will work with USAID and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to pursue funding and support for expanded resources to reintegrate returned unaccompanied children. (new)

  • Honduras plans to strengthen and expand the availability of reintegration services in areas of high emigration and forced displacement. (new)

  • Honduras will prioritize finalizing its Internally Displaced Persons legislation, pending in the National Congress. (new)

  • The United States identified $25 million for the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) as part of our Los Angeles Declaration efforts to support refugee and host communities in eligible middle-income countries. (advancing existing commitments)

  • The United States obligated more than $314 million in humanitarian and development assistance for the region, with nearly $103 million in humanitarian assistance funding from the Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration to support Venezuelan refugees and migrants; $171 million from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance providing humanitarian aid funding and emergency food assistance for Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, as well as multisectoral humanitarian support for vulnerable Venezuelans still in their home country; and $40 million in development funding from USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean to support the integration of migrants in Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize. (advancing existing commitments)

  • The United States has announced nearly $817 million in new assistance since September supporting Los Angeles Declaration efforts. This includes more than $240 million in new regional humanitarian and security assistance to address the immediate drivers and root causes of migration announced in Lima. This also includes $376 million in additional humanitarian assistance for people affected by the Venezuela regional crisis and more than $199 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Mexico and Central America. (new)

Pillar 2: Regular Pathways for Migration and International Protection

  • On August 16, Canada announced two capacity-building projects. The first focuses on improving recruitment practices and the integration of migrants and refugees into labor markets in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras; and the second on the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Panama. (new)

  • Canada announced a new initiative to support IOM efforts in Panama and Costa Rica to establish cross-border referral protocols and build capacity of host countries to identify and assist vulnerable migrants. (new)

  • Canada is on track to meet the commitment to welcome 50,000 agricultural workers from Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean this year. (advancing existing commitments)

  • Colombia will continue to lead regional efforts to bring awareness to the plight of migrants and refugees in the Americas in order to guarantee adequate financing and support from the international community for origin, transit and destination countries. (advancing existing commitments)

  • Costa Rica will commit to using Temporary Assistance Centers for Migrants (CATEMs) to increase protection for refugees and asylum seekers at the northern and southern borders. (new)

  • Mexico’s AMEXCID Sembrando Vida program provided agricultural assistance to 2,000 Belizean farmers, in addition to those farmers it works with in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The program seeks to reduce irregular migration. (new)

  • Mexico, in collaboration with UNHCR, is expanding labor integration programs for recognized refugee and asylum seekers. Since June, Mexico and UNHCR had internally relocated 3,289 refugees to secure areas of Mexico’s industrial corridor where they are paired with jobs and apartments and receive help to enroll their children in schools to ensure successful local integration and contributions to the Mexican economy. (advancing existing commitments)

  • The United States announced it doubled legal labor pathways for Central America in FY2022 while enhancing worker protections. The United States issued more than 19,000 seasonal labor H-2 visas to northern Central American nationals in FY2022 compared to 9,796 in FY2021 – a 94 percent increase. Legal labor pathways provide an alternative to irregular migration while meeting domestic labor needs for employers who can demonstrate no U.S. workers are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work, and the United States is working to further expand those pathways in FY 2023 in addition to collaborating with interagency partners to help reduce H-2 workers’ significant vulnerabilities. The United States government is working concurrently to improve safeguards for ethical recruitment and to strengthen worker protections and will have additional announcements on these steps soon. (advancing existing commitments)

  • The United States dramatically expanded refugee resettlement in the Western Hemisphere. The United States resettled 2,485 individuals in FY 2022, a 521 percent increase over FY2021 and an eight-year high for the region. The United States will further expand protection pathways in FY2023. (advancing existing commitments)

  • The United States began refugee resettlement for Haitian refugees. In September, the United States began refugee resettlement interviews for Haitian refugees. (advancing existing commitments)

  • The United States announced the resumption of processing immigration visas in Cuba and accelerated processing of Cuban family reunification. The United States announced in September an expansion of legal pathways available to Cubans wishing to come to the United States and an increase in personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Havana. Beginning in early 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Havana will resume full immigrant visa processing for the first time since 2017. Additionally, following the successful resumption of the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) program in August, the United States announced it will increase the number of personnel in Havana to efficiently and effectively process cases and conduct interviews. (new)

  • The United States will conduct six refugee processing trips in Latin America to interview more than 2,500 refugee applicants in the first quarter of FY2023. (new)

Pillar 3: Humane Migration Management

  • Barbados and IOM hosted a conference September 22-23 to advance a regional approach to managing migration in the Caribbean. Discussion focused on harmonizing policies and the pressures of climate change. (new)

  • Canada announced a new initiative to support IOM’s efforts to strengthen government and civil society capacity to implement effective migration policies and promote well-managed migration in Latin America and the Caribbean. Areas of focus include socioeconomic integration of migrants, combatting xenophobia, strengthening border management processes, and raising awareness of the risks associated with irregular migration. (new)

  • Canada announced a new initiative to strengthen UNHCR’s support of asylum capacity building in Panama through training and mentoring to improve asylum processing and to reduce Panama’s existing backlog of asylum cases. (new)

  • Canada is on track to meet its commitment to resettle 4,000 individuals from the region by 2028 and continues to work closely with the UNHCR on these efforts. (advancing existing commitments)

  • Colombia will recognize and strictly apply the Declaration of Cartagena in adjudicating refugee status requests. (new)

  • Colombia will work with all relevant partners to strengthen regional policies and initiatives to combat trafficking in persons and dismantle transnational criminal organizations that profit from it. (new)

  • Guatemala will enhance child protection measures to identify human smuggling cases and assess protections needs and vulnerabilities among unaccompanied children. (new)

  • Honduras committed to implementing additional internal checkpoints for transiting migrants and detection of unaccompanied children. (new)

  • Mexico increased its capacity to humanely house migrant and refugee families with shelter, food, labor opportunities, and health and education services with the opening of the 676-person capacity Integrated Center for Migrants in Matamoros. (new)

  • The United States has made more than 5,000 arrests of people of suspected crimes related to human smuggling and association with transnational criminal organizations since April 2022. The interruptions to criminal activities resulted the seizure of hundreds of thousands of dollars, electronic devices, weapons, ammunition, and vehicles. This campaign will continue. (advancing existing commitments)

  • The United States supports Transnational Criminal Investigative Units to improve host-country capacity to investigate transnational crime, including human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. (advancing existing commitments)

  • The United States implemented the Asylum Processing Interim Final Rule (IFR) in May to allow for expedited processing of asylum claims of noncitizens who enter the United States via the U.S. border. (advancing existing commitments)

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