The Biden administration is considering a ‘conditional cash transfer program’
Republicans are reacting with anger and disbelief to a proposal by the Biden administration to send cash payments to Central America as a way to combat the migrant crisis — describing the plan as “madness.”
Reuters reported Friday that the U.S. is considering a “conditional cash transfer program” to address what the White House believes are the economic woes that lead migrants to make the journey to the U.S. southern border. The plan also involves sending COVID-19 vaccines to the countries in Central America.
Roberta Jacobson, the White House’s outgoing southern border coordinator, told Reuters about the proposal and said it would be targeted at Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — three Northern Triangle countries that are the source of much of the migration wave currently crashing against the U.S. border.
“We’re looking at all of the productive options to address both the economic reasons people may be migrating, as well as the protection and security reasons,” Jacobson said.
But Jacobson did not say who would receive the cash or how it would work, but promised that the government “isn’t going to be handing out money or checks to people.”
Biden has proposed major financial injections into Central American countries before — and has pushed a $4 billion plan to invest in tackling what he calls the “root causes” of the crisis like gang violence and economic instability.
Meanwhile the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) told Reuters that it is already using cash transfers in Central America “to help people meet their basic needs” after recent hurricanes, and is considering expanding such measures.