Carper to Border Panel: We Must Address Root Causes of Irregular Central American Migration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), joined Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) Families and Children Care Panel Subcommittee officials for a roundtable discussion on unprecedented migration at the U.S. Southern Border. Specifically, the roundtable discussed bipartisan policy recommendations made in the Council’s April 2019 report.

Senator Carper expressed the need to fund the Alliance for Prosperity, a coordinated regional response to address the violence and humanitarian crises in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras from which the majority of families and children arriving at our border are fleeing. Earlier this year, President Trump unilaterally suspended funding to support the regional response, despite the fact that the funding has repeatedly been appropriated by Congress on a bipartisan basis. Panel members stated that they plan to release a report focusing on root causes in September.

“Back in February, I led a congressional delegation down to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador – where the majority of migrants who arrive at our U.S. Southern border are coming from. We focus a lot on the symptoms of the problem at our border, and it’s important that we do. But it’s also critically important that we address the root causes of why people are arriving at our Southern border: lack of opportunity and hope, crime and violence, and corruption in these countries,” said Senator Carper. 

Senator Carper continued, “As it turns out, in El Salvador, the surge of migrants to the United States has been a lot less dramatic – and one of the reasons why is because they elected a new President and hope is being restored. El Salvador has been making progress to improve public safety and quality of life for its citizens. But there’s still work to be done. El Salvador still needs leadership from the United States to keep making that progress. By focusing on improving governance and fighting corruption, we can make this kind of progress in Honduras and Guatemala too – but to do so, we must restore funding for the Alliance for Prosperity.”

Watch the full clip here.


In May, Senator Carper joined 30 Democratic colleagues to reintroduce the Central America Reform and Enforcement Act — a major legislative proposal to address the root causes of the Central American migrant crisis.

In February, Senator Carper led a congressional delegation to Central America to see firsthand the difficult and dangerous conditions in Central America that force so many migrants to flee and seek safe haven at the U.S. Southern border. Joining Senator Carper on the trip to the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Representatives Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Don Beyer (D-Va.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.). Over the past five years, Senator Carper has repeatedly traveled to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, as well as Mexico and Colombia, to study the root causes of Central American migration.

In March, following the trip to Central America, in March, Senator Carper penned an op-ed to discuss the conditions in the region he witnessed firsthand that force so many families to flee and seek safety at the U.S. Southern border.

In December 2015, Senator Carper, then Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the report, Stronger Neighbors  Stronger Borders: Addressing the Root Causes of the Migration Surge from Central America. The report found that the ongoing migration surge from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador reflects troubled conditions in those countries.