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Migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador arrive in the U.S. after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into Roma, Texas. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Hispanic U.S. House members are pushing for an aggressive, multiyear "Marshall Plan" for Central America to tackle regional violence, corruption and economic devastation.

The big picture: The call for a Central American plan, similar to a U.S. program that rebuilt Western Europe following World War II, comes as both political parties and the Biden administration struggle to find short-term solutions to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The price tag: TBD.

Driving the news: Mexico increased detentions and deportations of migrants last month as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stepped up law enforcement against Central American migrants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • Detentions of Central American migrants jumped 32% to 15,800 in March from February. That's more than double compared with March of last year, according to data from Mexico’s immigration agency shared with WSJ.
  • But experts say conditions in Central America will continue to push migrants north, regardless of increased enforcement.

The intrigue: Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus say long-term solutions and financial commitments are needed to address the systemic problems in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) told Axios that a Central American Marshall Plan is "one of the fundamental pieces of how the Biden administration addressed the issue of migration from Central America. Without it, I feel we are doomed to repeat the same cycles over and over."
  • Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) also told Axios that a "hemispheric" outreach that included countries like Canada and Panama was required to reshape Central America and the burden shouldn't just rest with the U.S.

Yes, but: House members have stopped short of saying how much is needed and how long the commitment should be.

Details: The Biden administration is proposing to spend more than $800 million next year in Central America to combat violence, poverty and corruption.

The leader of the nation's oldest Latino civil rights organization is traveling to Central America to meet with NGOs and government officials as migrants from the region flee violence and economic devastation.

  • League of United Latin American Citizens national president Domingo Garcia told Axios he will visit El Salvador and Honduras later this month to investigate the humanitarian crisis himself and find out how U.S. Latinos can help.
  • Fernando García, executive director of the El Paso, Texas-based Border Network for Human Rights, said a U.S.-backed Central American Marshall Plan is the morally right thing to do after the U.S. helped create the conditions there, after backing repressive regimes during civil wars.

Don't forget: President Bill Clinton signed an immigration reform bill in 1996 which made it far easier for the U.S. to deport people convicted of minor infractions and crimes committed by lawful permanent residents.

  • The U.S. government then deported thousands of Central American gang members across U.S.-cities. They were the children of refugees who had escaped violence stemming from U.S.-backed civil wars.
  • Those gang members upended quiet, rural towns in Central America, forcing residents there to flee.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jul 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House: Climate among "root causes" of migration

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The new White House strategy for improving conditions in Central America to slow migration includes helping to build resilience to climate change.

Why it matters: Climate change is increasingly understood as one of many drivers of human displacement, both within and across borders, due to flooding and other extreme weather, effects on food security and more.

Updated Jul 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DOJ sues Texas over restrictions on undocumented migrant travel

Photo: Samuel Corum-Pool via Getty Images

The Justice Department sued Texas on Friday over Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) executive order restricting transportation of undocumented migrants.

Driving the news: The DOJ is asking a federal judge to block the order immediately. It's the latest clash between Texas and President Biden's Justice Department.

DiDi to delist from NYSE under Chinese govt pressure

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese ride-hail giant DiDi said it will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, following a Chinese government crackdown on foreign listings.

Why it matters: This reflects how geopolitical tensions are bleeding into the capital markets.

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