Please see below statement from Refugees International Latin America Advocate Rachel Schmidtke:
“U.S. Secretary Blinken has an important opportunity to show that the United States is committed to regional leadership on migration and protection during his trip to Colombia this week. There is an urgent need for solutions to displacement in the region as crises throughout the Americas, particularly in Venezuela, Central America, and Haiti, continue to force people to flee their homes. U.S. leadership is critical.
Secretary Blinken should use this week’s ministerial conference in Bogota to engage with leaders on a myriad of policy opportunities, including creating a plan for addressing Venezuelan displacement in the region. Secretary Blinken should also focus on supporting Colombia’s new efforts to offer regularized status to people seeking safety. This move and those like it are offering much-needed hope and stability for displaced people and their hosts alike. The United States has a key role to play in supporting these pivotal efforts.
Refugees International also calls on Secretary Blinken to truly engage on measures that enhance protection for displaced people throughout the region instead of focusing on enforcement strategies that limit people’s ability to seek safety.”
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Refugees International Director of Communications Sarah Sheffer at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 202 540 7029.
Cover photo: Staffers from Colombia’s Secretary of Health check Venezuelans while leaving Colombia and returning to their country. Photo by Schneyder MENDOZA/AFP via Getty Images.