As the crisis at the Southern border wallops the Biden administration and with no answers in sight, President Joe Biden may turn to more creative measures to help alleviate the surge of migrants. According to the White House’s southern border coordinator Roberta Jacobson, the Biden administration is mulling over sending direct cash payments to Central American countries to persuade potential migrants to stay in their respective countries by mitigating their economic struggles, a key motivator in emigration.
“We’re looking at all of the productive options to address both the economic reasons people may be migrating, as well as the protection and security reasons,” said Jacobson, who announced she will be leaving the White House at the end of the month. “The one thing I can promise you is the U.S. government isn’t going to be handing out money or checks to people.”
Though no specifics were given, the program will target the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, who all make up the majority of illegal immigrants. The considered program will also send coronavirus vaccines to the region.
The proposal of direct cash payments came under immediate fire by Republicans, with top Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) slamming the idea.
“It’s insulting to the millions of Americans who are out of work or facing despair in our country,” said McCarthy.
Customs and Border Patrol reported 172,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended in March along the Southwest border, the most severe flood in nearly two decades. A report from CNN projected over the Southern border will see over two million migrants by the end of the year.