Providing Humanitarian Assistance to Support the Vice President’s Leadership in Addressing Migration Challenges in Central America 

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

President Biden and Vice President Harris have set out an ambitious, multi-pronged approach to address the root causes of irregular migration and strengthen collaborative migration management across Central America.  Yesterday’s announcement by the Vice President represents the next concrete step toward improving conditions and providing life-saving, protection-focused assistance to vulnerable people and communities throughout the region.

The Vice President’s announcement of $310 million in increased assistance in the region includes $104 million through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, $125 million through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, $26 million through the Department of Defense, and $55 million through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Our humanitarian assistance will meet the immediate needs of people forced to flee their homes in pursuit of safety, including refugees and other displaced people, and vulnerable migrants in Central America and third countries in the region.  Across the region, it will support shelter and other safe spaces, work to reunite families, promote migrant and refugee integration into host communities, support delivery of and access to health care, psychosocial support, and legal assistance, and help vulnerable people and communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic among other activities.

Through international organization partners, our assistance will also continue to support the national action plans of Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS) countries – Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama.  In so doing, it will strengthen national asylum systems and other protection efforts in the region and promote opportunities for displaced people and vulnerable migrants to integrate and find solutions in communities across the region.

International cooperation is essential for effective and efficient migration management, and the United States is, and will continue to be, a reliable partner in this effort.  We are the world’s largest single humanitarian donor and we urge others to join us in our commitment to support people in need across Central America.

 

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    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury in West Virginia returned an indictment Tuesday charging a former West Virginia police officer with a civil rights offense against an arrestee.
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    In Crime News
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  • Aircraft Noise: Information on a Potential Mandated Transition to Quieter Airplanes
    In U.S GAO News
    Based on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data and GAO estimates, most U.S. large commercial jet airplanes are certificated at the minimum required stage 3 noise standards, but nearly all of them are able to meet more stringent noise standards. Sixty-three percent of large commercial airplanes in the United States are certificated as meeting the stage 3 standards; however, 87 percent of them were manufactured with technologies that are able to meet more recent and stringent stage 4 or 5 standards as currently configured, according to FAA's 2017 analysis. By analyzing updated data from airlines and aviation manufacturers, GAO estimated that this proportion is even higher: 96 percent of large commercial airplanes are able to meet stage 4 or 5 standards (see figure). According to FAA officials and aviation stakeholders, the primary reason many large commercial airplanes certificated as stage 3 produce lower than stage 3 noise levels is because engine and airframe technology has outpaced the implementation of noise standards. More recently, some airlines have accelerated retirement of certain airplanes, some of which are certificated as stage 3, due to the decrease in travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For the generally smaller regional commercial jets (i.e., generally with less than 90 seats), 86 percent are able to meet stage 4 or stage 5 standards, according to manufacturers' data. With regard to general aviation (which are used for personal or corporate flights), 73 percent of the jet airplanes in that fleet are able to meet the more stringent stage 4 or 5 standards, according to manufacturers' data. GAO Estimate of The Number of Large Airplanes in the U.S. Commercial Fleet That Are Able to Meet Stage 3 or Stage 4 and 5 Noise Standards, January 2020 According to stakeholders GAO interviewed, a phase-out of jet airplanes that are certificated as meeting stage 3 standards would provide limited noise reduction and limited other benefits, and could be costly and present other challenges. A phase-out could require recertificating the vast majority of stage 3 airplanes to comply with stage 4 or 5 standards. This process could be costly for operators and manufacturers but would provide little reduction in noise. Further, airplanes currently unable to meet more stringent standards would require modifications or face retirement. For older airplanes that could not be recertificated to meet stage 4 or 5 standards, some operators could incur costs for replacement airplanes sooner than originally planned. Although stakeholders indicated that a phase-out would not substantially reduce noise, they identified other limited benefits newer airplanes generate, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption. Although advances in technology have led to quieter aircraft capable of meeting increasingly stringent noise standards, airport noise remains a concern. FAA regulates aircraft noise by ensuring compliance with relevant noise standards. In 1990, federal law required large jet airplanes to comply with stage 3 noise standards by 1999, leading to a phase-out of the noisiest airplanes (stage 1 and 2 airplanes). Later, federal law required smaller airplanes to comply with stage 3 standards by 2016. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 included a provision for GAO to review a potential phase-out of stage 3 airplanes—the loudest aircraft currently operating in the United States. This report describes (1) the proportion of stage 3 airplanes in the U.S. fleet, and what proportion of these stage 3 airplanes are able to meet more stringent noise standards and (2) selected stakeholders' views on the potential benefits, costs, and challenges of phasing out stage 3 airplanes. GAO reviewed FAA's analysis of December 2017 fleet data, analyzed January 2020 fleet data from select airlines and airframe and engine manufacturers, and interviewed FAA officials. GAO also interviewed a non-generalizable sample of 35 stakeholders, including airlines; airframe and engine manufacturers; airports; and industry associations, selected based on fleet and noise data, stakeholder recommendations, or prior GAO knowledge. For more information, contact Heather Krause at (202) 512-2834 or krauseh@gao.gov.
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  • Federal Judges Reinventing the Jury Trial During Pandemic
    In U.S Courts
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    In Crime News
    The United States has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Macon Division, seeking to bar an Irwinton, Georgia, tax return preparer from preparing tax returns for others.
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