Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday he had urged his US counterpart Joe Biden to act immediately to invest in Central America to stem the flow of migrants.
Lopez Obrador spoke after the United States said Saturday that it would ramp up deportation flights for thousands of migrants massed beneath a bridge at the border with Texas.
The Mexican leader said he had written to Biden appealing for swift action to tackle the root causes of a wave of migration by people fleeing poverty and violence.
“As we have mentioned on other occasions, the migratory phenomenon requires a completely new treatment,” says the letter read by Lopez Obrador at his daily news conference.
He stressed “the need to act immediately in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador” by investing in economic support programs for farmers and young apprentices.
If the United States invests in Central America “we would be assisting 330,000 people in less than six months who would see this joint action as a hope,” he said.
Lopez Obrador has repeatedly proposed expanding one of his domestic welfare programs into Central America in the aim of generating 1.2 million jobs in the region.
He has also proposed allowing participants to qualify for a US work visa after three years.
As well as the migrants at the border, tens of thousands of Haitians and Central Americans are stranded in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula, waiting for documents that would allow them to continue north.
Mexican authorities have arrested more than 147,000 undocumented migrants already this year — three times more than in the same period of 2020, according to the National Migration Institute.
The featured photo shows Central American families boarding a U.S. Customs and Border Protection bus for transport to an immigrant processing center after crossing the border from Mexico on April 13, 2021 in La Joya, Texas.