On June 10, 2022, over 20 American and Caribbean countries gathered at the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles to commit to working together in creating safe conditions and reinforcing frameworks to protect migrants. 

These commitments are the basis for the creation of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, which also builds upon other international immigration instruments such as the 1984 Cartagena Declaration and the 2018 Quito Process.

Although the agreement is not binding, the Los Angeles Declaration is a step forward in properly managing the migration waves that occur in the Americas. Events such as the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, and the diaspora of Venezuelans due to their country’s economic situation, add to the flows of Central American immigrants that are fleeing their homelands to move to North American countries.

What exactly does the Declaration of the Americas consist of?

The 20 countries that signed the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection were:

  • Argentina
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • United States
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Uruguay

The White House has stated that the countries “are committed to protecting the safety and dignity of all migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons, regardless of their migratory status, and respecting their human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

This declaration has established to work on promoting four major issues:

  1. Stability and assistance for communities of destination, origin, transit, and return.
  2. Legal pathways for migration and international protection.
  3. Humane migration management.
  4. Coordinated emergency response.

With this shared approach, the signatory countries commit to investing and supporting countries that have received large numbers of migrants and refugees such as: Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago.

But what exactly did the U.S. government commit to?

How does the Los Angeles Declaration impact migration to the United States?

Due to their high number of deportation cases, the United States was the country that proposed the Los Angeles Declaration.

One of the talking points of the Los Angeles Declaration was the U.S. government announcing three commitments that aim to help migrants.

The U.S. government announced the aid of 65 million dollars to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help American agricultural companies that hire temporary workers from Northern Central America under the H2-A visa program.

Additionally, the U.S. government also announced that they will provide an additional 11,500 H-2B visas for temporary non-agricultural workers for Haitian and Northern Central American citizens.

According to the White House, this new number of visas “represents a three-fold increase from this year”.  

Reunification of Haitian and Cuban Families

The U.S. government has also pledged to increase the number of referrals to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Haitians.

Additionally, the United States will resume and increase its participation in the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, in which certain eligible U.S. citizens and permanent residents can sponsor family members for parole, which is to enter the country and temporarily stay with an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.

The White House also announced that the Department of State will intensify its efforts to process Haitian immigrant visas and reduce the existing backlog by increasing the number of consular adjudicators in their Embassy at Port-au-Prince.

Furthermore, the United States will also resume the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, which they will restart in processing applications in the following months.

After reading what is exactly the Los Angeles Declaration and you feel these agreements impact your immigration process, at Zambrano & Ruiz, we are here to help. Call us today at 770-769-5820 to get a consultation on your case.