THE PRESIDENT’S PROMISES

José López Zamorano | La Red Hispana 
Photo Credit: La Red Hispana

The United States barely and temporarily prevented a debt crisis after Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on a long-term solution to raise the debt ceiling.

The United States barely kept the federal government in operation after Democrats and Republicans agreed on a partial remedy to fund the federal government, while agreeing on the budget for fiscal year 2022.

President Joe Biden barely tried to reassure progressive and conservative sectors of his party to avoid further division, over disagreements over the $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure package and the $3.5 trillion human infrastructure package.

This is certainly a perfect storm for the White House, as it has so far little to offer American voters in next year’s congressional elections. Polls show that, for the majority of voters, the economic relief plan for the pandemic has not been enough to declare it a successful presidency.

But the president faces not only the pandemic, but other serious risks, including an overflow of the exodus of Central American migrants to the United States, which is why he urges a policy to dismantle migrant smuggling gangs, although attacking the causes that trigger migration can take decades.

Despite all this gale to the contrary, President Biden promised his Mexican colleague Andrés Manuel López Obrador an increase in investment in southern Mexico and northern Central America. Rightly, the president of the United States diagnosed the problem: lack of economic opportunities, weak governments, corruption, violence and inequality.

In his letter, the US president recalls that last year he granted 600 million dollars in assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras (some of them diverted from the budget of his predecessor Donald Trump’s border wall funding) and that he asked Congress for $861 million additional dollars to the budget for the next fiscal year. Those appeals are still pending.

It is timely that President Biden endorse his commitment to support Central America and extend it to southern Mexico. As long as there is no equitable development south of the Rio Grande, it is practically impossible to significantly reduce the pressures that push people on the dangerous journey north.

But it is also important not to set aside another promise, that of immigration reform that offers realistic legal routes to deter at least some from venturing into illegal immigration. Congressional Democrats are working hard to include a new bill in the legislative reconciliation plan.

However, recently we have heard a bit from the president regarding the immigration issue. That, too, was a promise from his campaign. His leadership and investment of political capital are crucial in providing a modicum of justice to the millions of Dreamers and essential workers who have risked their lives during the pandemic.

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