As hundreds of thousands of migrants arrive at the southern border each month, the Biden administration is looking to Spain to take in more Central Americans, according to a new report.
Internal planning documents reviewed by Axios this week reveal that the US is expecting Spain to commit to doubling or tripling the number of temporary workers it receives from Central America through an employment-based migration program.
The plan is expected to be announced as part of a “Los Angeles Declaration” during the Summit of the Americas next week, according to the report.
The documents reportedly describe the number of refugees to be settled in Spain as both “modest” and “symbolically important.”
The Spanish program is meant to help the European country combat an ongoing labor shortage.
Meanwhile, the planning documents also say that Canada will announce plans at the summit to accept 5,000 refugees from elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere over multiple years – a minuscule number compared to the thousands waiting to cross the Mexico-US border.
The ongoing talks with both nations appear to be a fresh effort by the White House to address what it calls the “root causes” of mass migration to the US.
In January, Vice President Kamala Harris – who was appointed as President Biden’s border czar in March 2021 – warned that solving these “root causes” would be a drawn-out process.
“The root causes strategy has always been clear and we have been clear. The work we need to do is going to be work that will manifest over a long period of time. Hopefully not too long, but certainly not overnight,” she told reporters during a trip to attend Honduran President Xiomara Castro’s inauguration.
“The problems that we need to address are problems that did not occur overnight and the solutions if they’re going to have any impact will not occur overnight.”
Since then, Harris appears to have stepped back in her role heading up the border crisis response.
The Biden administration has faced criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle over its response to mass migration at the southern border as record numbers of encounters are reported.
In April alone, Customs and Border Protection stopped 234,088 border-crossers – the highest of any month since Biden took office.
A large group of Republican lawmakers toured part of the border region in Texas on Wednesday and blasted the administration for not doing enough.
“What we’re seeing down here in McAllen is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world,” Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), told The Post in a statement. “The facilities are overcrowded, the Border Patrol agents are overworked, the border wall, if you can even call it that, has miles-long holes in it.”
“Throughout my visit, a few things have been repeated by agents over and over again,” Carter added. “We need Title 42. We need consequences for people who come here illegally. We need to enforce the Remain in Mexico policy. And we need to secure our southern border.”
The White House did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.