WASHINGTON, D.C. – In case you missed it, Politico on Friday published an article and sit-down interview with Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) about his longtime leadership in addressing the root causes of migration from Central America. A senior member and former chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Carper also discussed his working relationship with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on immigration, and recounted lessons learned from a congressional delegation he led to the southern border earlier this month.
Writes Politico's Sabrina Rodríguez, "I sat down with Carper, who has been to Central America at least five times in the past seven years, to talk about what, for years, has prompted migrants to make the trek to the U.S...."
Carper, on what issues to address with American assistance:
"There’s three basic reasons. One of those is crime and violence. Another is corruption; People are fed up with the corruption...The third one is really economic opportunity and creating hope. The key here is to use American dollars to leverage other money from within these countries to tackle those three I just listed. It’s to leverage money from other countries, from the business community, the international business community, the NGOs and foundations — and then also have metrics in place that actually ensure the money is being used appropriately."
Carper, on replicating successes from Plan Colombia and renewing investment in the Obama Administration's Alliance for Prosperity:
"Well, actually [then-Vice President] Joe Biden was asked by [President] Barack Obama to figure out what to do with the Northern Triangle because he knew of Joe's heavy involvement in the development of Plan Colombia. The question Barack asked Joe was: Do you think we can talk [about] what we learned from Plan Colombia, some of the success there, imperfect as it is? How can we apply that in the Northern Triangle? And out of that came a plan that was developed with a lot of input from those countries — Alliance for Prosperity. To sum it up, the elements of that plan look to me a lot like the Home Depot slogan: You can do it. We can help."
Carper, on his discussions with President Biden in recent months:
"I think I could fill a book with the conversations I’ve had with him in the last couple of months. He urged me to go down to the border. The administration urged me several weeks ago and I did that. And as soon as I got back, in fact, while I was still down there, he tried to reach me on the phone. It was the next day that we finally connected. We talked and he and I both committed to the idea that we could welcome the stranger at our border and be humane. We can do all of that and do it well. But if we only welcome them, then we’re still going to have hundreds of thousands of people trying to come in 10, 20, 30 years from now. So, we agree that we’ve got to be able to address the root causes, the things that make people leave.”
To view the entire piece, click HERE.