Family Security Matters
On his return from a meeting with regional leaders in Guatemala, Vice President Joe Biden penned an op-ed for The Hill newspaper in Washington DC. In it, he laid out the Obama administration’s plans to promote economic development in Central America with an eye to reducing illegal immigration from that turbulent region to the United States. The proposals were astounding not because of their goal, though one can question how sincere the administration is about curbing illegal immigration given how warmly it has embraced those who have crossed the U.S. border without permission; but because they are based on principles that President Barack Obama has rejected here at home.
One of the first items Biden mentioned was “complete the construction of a gas pipeline from Mexico to Central America, making energy more affordable for consumers.” Though the idea of a pipeline has been around for some time, working groups were only set up last October to study the various regulatory, financial, commercial and budget issues involved for a gas pipeline from Mexico to Guatemala. Last Friday (March 13), Enrique Pena Nieto, President of Mexico, Otto Perez Molina, President of Guatemala, and Juan Orlando Hernandez, President of Honduras signed a commitment to the construction of the gas pipeline at a ceremony in Mexico’s National Palace. The $530 million project is still looking for foreign investment, though the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) may fund much of it. IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno of Columbia was part of the Guatemala meeting with Biden and the Presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. It is not clear if some of the $1 billion the Obama administration has requested in its 2016 budget for support of Central American projects will go the pipeline. However, the U.S. provides 30.1% of the IDB’s capital.