WASHINGTON – The presidents of the countries of the Northern Triangle of Central America met here Wednesday with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to move forward on the Alliance for Prosperity plan for the region, and they agreed on a new action framework for 2016.
Biden met with Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
“The leaders agreed on advancing on an action plan for 2016 that will include very concrete and specific steps,” said the assistant secretary of state for Latin America, Juan Gonzalez, in a telephone interview with EFE.
The plan will include efforts to “combat people trafficking, continue efforts to strengthen border security and facilitate the return” of undocumented immigrants deported to the region from the United States, he said.
Biden urged the Central American leaders to do more to combat corruption and reduce illegal immigration if they want the U.S. Congress to approve more funds for their countries this year.
The vice president noted that Congress recently approved $750 million for carrying out the Alliance for Prosperity Plan for the Northern Triangle.
Taking advantage of the regional leaders’ visit, dozens of immigrants and activists on Wednesday demanded Temporary Protected Status for the Central American children who have arrived on U.S. soil fleeing the violence in their home countries, a proposal supported by a large portion of Democratic legislators in both chambers of Congress.
Currently included in TPS, a temporary immigration measure that includes permission to work, are Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, among other nations, although extensions for these countries are periodically approved by U.S. authorities, along with specific cases not linked to the current immigration crisis.