Chairman Carper Holds Roundtable to Discuss Root Causes of Surge of Central American Migration

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) held a media availability following a roundtable discussion on what the U.S. can do to best address the root causes driving the current surge in unauthorized migration from Central America.

Chairman Carper shared his thoughts after hearing from key stakeholders across the U.S. government, multilateral investment banks, and non-governmental organizations on what the U.S. government and its partners are currently doing to improve the prospects for citizens of these countries, to identify programs that may be the most effective, and to highlight what actions can be taken.

“In this country, we often focus too much attention to the symptoms of problems rather than trying to fix the underlying causes,” Chairman Carper said. “This is particularly true at our nation’s borders, where the recent surge in migration from Central America, including unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied children, has presented a massive and complex humanitarian crisis. This afternoon, I held a roundtable to discuss what our government- and our partners- can and should be doing to help Central American countries improve the prospects for their young people. While Congress and the Administration need to immediately address this influx of minors and families at our border, we must also address the root causes influencing people to come to our border – and help countries overcome the circumstances that are pushing so many of their young people and families to attempt the trip.”

The roundtable was held as part of Chairman Carper’s ongoing efforts to address border security and immigration in the United States. Since becoming Chairman, Chairman Carper traveled to Central America multiple times to better understand and discuss these issues with Central American leaders.

The following is a list of participants during the roundtable:


Alejandro Mayorkas

Deputy Secretary

Department of Homeland Security


Scott Hamilton

Director for Central American Affairs

Department of State


James Story

Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs


Mark Lopes

Deputy Assistant Administrator

Bureau for Latin America and Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development


Department of Treasury

Larry McDonald

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Technical Assistance


Michael Kaplan

Deputy Assistant Secretary

Western Hemisphere Office


Óscar Calvo-González

Sector Leader of the Poverty Reduction (PREM) department for Latin America and the Caribbean and Chief Economist for Central America

World Bank


Osmel Manzano

Principal Economist and Regional Economic Advisor for the Central America, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic

Inter-American Development Bank          


Cynthia Arnson

Director, Latin American Program

Wilson Center


Manuel Orozco

Senior Fellow

Inter-American Dialogue


Jason Marczak

Deputy Director

Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council