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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Biden proposes to invest nearly $1 billion in Central America and Haiti

U.S. President Joe Biden asked Congress to approve an investment of nearly $1 billion in Central America and Haiti by 2023 to maintain “leadership” in the area, according to the budget proposal released on Monday.

This budget plan, which covers the period from October 1 to September 30, is sent to Congress. It is subject to amendments for approval by the two chambers, in which the Democrats have a slim majority.

As part of “continuing Leadership” in Central America and Haiti, President Joe Biden proposes to invest $986.8 million specifically in those countries. According to a press release by the White House, the proposition is “part of a comprehensive strategy to advance systemic reform while addressing the root causes of irregular migration.”

This amount is part of a four-year, $4 billion investment plan for Central America.

In addition, the President suggests combining the aid with improved border security. “The budget includes billions of dollars to keep America’s borders secure and enforce our immigration laws,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement. The Department of Homeland Security also specified that the amount designated by the President for DHS is $97.3 billion, out of a total of $5.8 trillion.

“The funds will be used to modernize port and border facilities, invest in technology, ensure the safe and humane treatment of migrants in DHS custody, and reduce the immigration backlog,” noted the Department of Homeland Security.

Furthermore, the financial plan funds the hiring of 300 border patrol members and as many additional “prosecution coordinators” as required. This will allow agents to focus “on their core missions of counterterrorism, law enforcement and security,” indicated the Department of Homeland Security.

Also, the plan includes the allocation of $375 million to implement a new interim regulation aimed at expediting the processing of asylum applications. It will, similarly, accelerate the immediate removal process of those who are not eligible for asylum.

Finally, the budget incorporates $20 million for the Family Reunification Task Force to identify and continue to reunite the thousands of immigrant families that have been separated.

Biden hopes this plan will help “revitalize partnerships that generate economic resilience, democratic stability and citizen security.”

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