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. Biden’s strategy engaged the leaders of the region to take responsibility for improving economic prosperity through poverty reduction and regional integration programs, deepened security cooperation to reduce gang violence and combat transnational criminal organizations, and strengthened institutions through technical assistance that improved governance and transparent fiscal management. The Biden approach . Despite this success, since assuming office, the Trump Administration has delayed, reduced, or diverted assistance to Central America–a counterproductive policy that has been rejected by congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle. 

As president, Biden will immediately do away with the Trump Administration’s draconian immigration policies and galvanize international action to address the poverty and insecurity driving migrants from the Northern Triangle to the United States. Central American governments and societies have a primary responsibility to address the drivers of emigration in their own countries, but the depth of the necessary reforms require sustained international assistance and cooperation. Renewed U.S. leadership is desperately needed, and must be complemented by private sector investment, the support of the international donor community, and a commitment by regional governments to undertake fundamental reforms. 

As president, Joe Biden will renew a robust commitment to U.S. leadership in the region and pursue a comprehensive strategy for Central America by: 

A COMPREHENSIVE FOUR-YEAR, $4 BILLION REGIONAL STRATEGY

The people of the region understand that addressing these challenges in a sustainable way demands systemic change and reforms across many sectors of society in the Northern Triangle–and that sort of change requires a serious investment of political will and resources at every level. It requires the sustained commitment from the leaders and peoples of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and as they step up, the United States should be there to offer support and partnership. It is in the direct interest of the United States to help drive that change with a comprehensive strategy of U.S. support for regional initiatives and engagement at the highest levels of our government. 

As president, Biden will renew the U.S. commitment to tackling the root causes driving migration with an integrated, four-year, $4 billion regional strategy that:

To pay for this investment in the future of our region, Biden will reprioritize money away from the Department of Homeland Security’s budget for detention, which has skyrocketed under Trump’s inhumane and unnecessary policies, in favor of more effective and cost-efficient alternatives to detention. The savings from not locking migrants away like criminals or separating families will be much better used to improve conditions in the region and help people feel safe in their home countries.

MOBILIZING PRIVATE INVESTMENT IN THE REGION

Alone, government investment and generous foreign aid are insufficient to stimulate the kind of economic opportunity the people of Central America need to build stable, secure, middle class futures. Ultimately, economies will only grow sustainably by attracting greater private investment–both from international sources, and from their citizens being willing to invest at home. 

A Biden administration will harness private sector investment to promote economic stability and job creation in Central America by: 

IMPROVING SECURITY AND THE RULE OF LAW

Families will continue to flee the region if they and their children are not safe in their home communities. They will not try to start a business. They will not invest in their future. Violence and a lack of faith in the capacity of the region’s security services are an enormous barrier to progress in the Northern Triangle. Strengthening security and establishing confidence in the rule of law are the cornerstones for all the other reforms that are needed in the Northern Triangle. Improving both is in the direct interest of people throughout the region and the United States.

A Biden Administration will tackle regional security challenges by: 

ADDRESSING ENDEMIC CORRUPTION

Central America will never be able to mobilize private investment on the scale necessary or deliver the services its people need without also addressing corruption. Corruption prevents nations from governing effectively, siphons off resources needed for critical investments in things like infrastructure and education, drives away outside investment, creates crises of legitimacy in fragile democracies, and leaves countries vulnerable to organized crime. It is a cancer that is eating away at the countries of the Northern Triangle and preventing them from making meaningful progress on any of their other key challenges. As the most corrupt Administration in modern American history, Trump has undercut U.S. moral leadership on this issue, and his efforts to combat corruption anywhere in the world have been woefully inadequate to nonexistent. 

A long-time vocal proponent of anti-corruption efforts around the world, including in the Northern Triangle, as president, Biden will treat anti-corruption in the Northern Triangle as a top priority by: 

PRIORITIZING POVERTY REDUCTION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Progress depends on creating a stronger security environment, but it cannot be the sole focus of our efforts in the region. Investing in economic development and the potential of the people of the region is critical for long-term success. Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t understand that U.S. development aid is a vital investment not just in the success of the region, but in our own future security and prosperity. 

A Biden Administration will prioritize poverty reduction and development by: 

Read Joe’s Plan to Securing Our Values as a Nation of Immigrants >>