During today's news conference, Obama told Salvadorans that he was committed to reforming US immigration policies (approximately 2 million Salvadorans live in the US) and to helping to keep the country on a "path of development."
"There are few better examples of both the opportunities and challenges facing the Americas today than here in El Salvador," Obama said at a joint news conference with Funes...
But Obama praised Funes for what he said were smart investments in education, rural development and infrastructure, and political efforts to build consensus in a historically divided society.
"As El Salvador's largest trading partner, we'll help identify reforms that can mobilize private investment, increase trade, and create opportunities for the Salvadoran people," Obama said.
He announced plans for a $200 million regional security program to help countries in the region strengthen their courts and other institutions that foster the rule of law.Obama also toured the national cathedral and visited Archbishop Monsignor Romero's crypt. He was supposed to visit the crypt and Joya de Ceren on Wednesday but the visit to the cathedral was pushed up and Joya de Ceren cancelled.
Obama said he told Funes that he remains "firmly committed to comprehensive immigration reform in the United States" that would give those in the United States illegally a path to legality while strengthening controls on immigration.
In the article, Obama is said to have called Romero an "inspiration." However, El Faro reports that the President did not speak to reporters. (WOLA has a podcast up on the significance of President's Obama's visit to El Salvador and the Archbishop's crypt here that is worth listening to.)
In the same article, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced that the US was providing $10 million to fight child labor in El Salvador, a country where an estimated one in ten children is in the work force.
Here are some videos from the visit.
See Tim for coverage as well.