As record numbers of people being displaced around the world, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged for increased regional collaboration in the Western Hemisphere on Wednesday.
Blinken was speaking in Panama City on the second day of a two-day migration conference, where he was joined by regional peers from 20 other countries.
The conference, he said, will “set the framework for a forceful proclamation by our leaders” at the Summit of the Americas, which will be held in Los Angeles from June 6 to 10.
“At the end of the day, we all know that the only long-term, sustainable solution to irregular migration is to address its core causes.” “However, that takes time,” Blinken explained. “We understand that no single country or society can address a problem as complex as irregular migration.”
President Joe Biden has been drawing international attention to immigration issues for some time. His administration has struck agreements with Central American countries to stop migrants from reaching the border. US authorities in March arrested more than 221,000 people along the Mexican border, the highest number in more than two decades.
The US has been coping with rising migration largely coming from El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and now from Venezuela.
The number of Venezuelans leaving their country has reached 6.11 million, according to the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela.
Migration rates have been increasing in Venezuela, fueled by violence, insecurity, poverty and a lack of food, medicine and essential services.
Nearly 5 million Venezuelan migrants live in Latin America. Colombia is the country with the most migrants, with 1.8 million, followed by Peru with 1.3 million. Now, a growing number of Venezuelans are crossing through the dangerous jungles of the Darien Gap in search of safety and stability in the US.