In a recent announcement, the United States Ambassador to El Salvador, William Duncan, revealed that there has been a significant decrease in the number of Salvadorans detained at the US border for illegal entry. According to the diplomat, this decrease amounts to 40% since the implementation of Title 8 on May 12.
Ambassador Duncan emphasized that this development is great news, as it indicates a growing trend of Salvadorans opting to remain in their home country rather than migrating. He stated, “We have seen a 40% reduction in irregular entries by Salvadorans. This is good news for El Salvador because we are talking about individuals who are needed here, contributing to the economy. It brings me joy to see more people choosing to stay in El Salvador.”
Furthermore, illegal crossings at various entry points along the southwestern border have decreased by over 70%.
The US Ambassador also highlighted one of the strategies employed in El Salvador to reduce irregular migration: investment in education. He announced that a substantial amount of $20 million has been allocated to the “Scholarships for Educational Opportunities” program, benefiting 6,500 Salvadoran youth and adults. Through this initiative, students gain access to technical programs, vocational courses, and accelerated programs to complete their high school education. Additionally, they receive support for tuition fees, transportation, and computers.
“The aim is to reach out to approximately 6,500 students with scholarships because education is crucial for their lives and the country as a whole. In order to achieve economic growth, we need to improve education. Thanks to this program, individuals can now return to school. We have single mothers with children who demonstrate immense dedication, and despite the challenges they face, they persevere,” Duncan stated.
As part of the program, 125 high school graduates received their diplomas yesterday after completing their studies through a flexible learning model. The ceremony took place at the facilities of the Don Bosco University (UDB). In attendance were Ambassador Duncan, María Paula Quintero, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), José Arístides González, the Director of Flexible Learning Modalities at the Ministry of Education, Héctor Quiteño, the Director of Fedisal, and Mario Olmos, the Rector of UDB.
These young individuals had previously been unable to complete their high school education due to various reasons. With their newfound qualifications, they now have access to better employment opportunities. Olmos remarked, “This represents an opportunity for young people who were outside of the education system to receive training. This program has shown us the transformative impact of education, as it helps individuals build new connections with society and fosters positive change for the common good.”
With the decreasing number of Salvadorans attempting irregular entry into the United States and the investment in educational opportunities, El Salvador is witnessing a shift as more people choose to stay and contribute to their country’s growth and development. The collaborative efforts between the United States and El Salvador highlight the importance of education as a catalyst for change and progress in the region.