May 2, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden brings in new key migration adviser

This is Joe Biden

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden has brought in a new senior adviser to tackle the unprecedented levels of migration throughout the Americas, two people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Marcela Escobari, who has spent much of her career working on Latin America and international development, is now running point on the issue at the National Security Council as immigration grows as a concern among voters ahead of November.

Zoom in: Escobari, who grew up in Bolivia and emigrated to the U.S., will be the NSC's Coordinator for the Los Angeles Declaration, a 2022 pledge among countries in the hemisphere to work together on migration.

  • Escobari most recently served as Assistant Administrator of USAID's Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, a post she also held in the last part of the Obama administration.
  • She has been running interagency meetings and working with other top officials on migration and the LA Declaration.
  • Escobari will replace Katie Tobin, who had been a key player on the Biden administration's border efforts from the start of the administration before leaving earlier this year.

Zoom out: Biden has dealt with back-to-back record years of migrant crossings at the southern border, with more than two million illegal crossings in each of the last two fiscal years.

  • The number of crossings dropped in January, and have remained level over the past few months. Yet crossings tend to rise in the spring and summer.

What's next: Escobari will represent the administration in Guatemala next Tuesday for the third ministerial meeting on the LA Declaration.

  • An NSC spokesperson told Axios that her presence shows the president's commitment to "continue supporting regionally driven progress across the three pillars of the Los Angeles Declaration: strengthening enforcement and management of borders across the region, expanding lawful pathways and integration, and addressing the root causes to promote regional stability."
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