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Harris Seeks U.S. Investments in Central America

Plus: Human rights activists say Biden won't hit refugee cap, and authorities investigate Iraqi refugee program fraud.

Vice President Kamala Harris announced a partnership with 12 private-sector companies and organizations to help support “inclusive economic development” within Central America’s Northern Triangle of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. U.S. government agencies, as well as the State Department, will also assist governments in the area to remove barriers to international investment and encourage new private-sector partnerships. Since poor economic conditions are leading migrants to head up north, improving economic conditions could add to the region’s stability. Still, experts say it’ll take a while to convince potential migrants that economic opportunities in their home country are better than the U.S. Vox 

Human Rights Advocates Demand Action on Refugee Cap

The Biden administration raised the number of refugees allowed in the U.S. from the Trump administration’s historically low number, but human rights advocates say officials won’t reach it if they don’t “act expeditiously.” Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, said the U.S. has resettled 3,600 refugees for this fiscal year and that the Biden administration is “undoubtedly making progress” toward its goal of 62,500. Vignarajah mentioned that there is still a long way to go to reform the program. Amnesty International USA released a new report with some recommendations for the administration, including expanding a community sponsorship system and a private sponsorship program to support for refugee resettlement in the U.S. VOA News 

Authorities Investigate Iraqi Refugee Program Fraud

U.S. authorities are pursuing a fraud investigation against 4,000 Iraqis who allegedly filed fraudulent applications for resettlement as refugees in the U.S. According to State Department reports, they are also re-analyzing 104,000 cases. A document sent to members of Congress showed that over 500 Iraqis have already been implicated in possible fraud and could be deported or have their U.S. citizenship taken away. U.S. officials informed Reuters that the investigation, which is one of the biggest into refugee program fraud, will help determine whether the Biden administration should design a similar program to help Afghan refugees as American troops leave after 20 years of war. Reuters

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