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Sen. Carper discusses root causes of migration in visit to Mexico and Central America

Delaware Public Media

Sen. Tom Carper recently completed a six-day bipartisan Congressional Delegation visit to Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras to discuss migration.

Carper’s visit included meetings with the presidents of Mexico and Guatemala as well as other officials in all three countries.

The discussions focused on the root causes of migration to the United States from those countries, and the connection to drugs and addiction issues in the U.S.

Carper praised the Mexican president’s stance on fighting corruption, and hopes other Central American countries also take the same stance.

"He has focused for five years on corruption and enforcing the rule of law, and we need to try to convince the other countries in that region to take up the same kind of battle and provide leadership in their own countries," said Carper.

In Guatemala, the delegation also met with residents and civil society leaders, while in Honduras they met with the National Police’s counternarcotics unit and toured a child and family migrant return center.

Carper points to drugs coming here from those countries contributing to making conditions in those countries worse. But he adds there are other issues causing migration from those countries to the U.S.

"Part of the problem is lack of education. Most of the young people in the countries that we visited don't make it to the 5th grade, and those who don't even read at a 3rd grade level. So, lack of education is a huge problem. A lot of the folks in that part of the world just don't see the opportunity. They live with hunger and malnutrition," said Carper.

Carper and the delegation saw how investments like $4.2 billion in commitments from the Partnership for Central America are helping the region create jobs, connect people to the digital economy, and expand access to financing for small businesses.

That money is part of Vice President Kamala Harris’ Call to Action which started in May 2021, and also provides training and education for youth and workers.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.