WASHINGTON, DC -- The Biden administration is considering making cash payments to multiple Central American nations in the hopes it could stem the surge of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border, the news agency Reuters reported Friday afternoon.
A senior White House official told Reuters that the cash transfer would target the countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where poor economic conditions are believed to motivate migrants to travel northward to the U.S.
Roberta Jacobson, the White House's southern border coordinator, didn't specify to Reuters exactly how the money distribution would occur, but she indicated it was conditional on reducing the immigration flow.
"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," she said in an interview with the wire service.
The U.S. Border Patrol reported nearly 170,000 encounters occurred with migrants along the border last month, marking a 20-year high. That included almost 19,000 unaccompanied children, which was the largest monthly number ever recorded.