Mexico cannot become a “migrant camp,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday, urging the United States to invest in the countries where people are fleeing poverty and violence.
Lopez Obrador has ratcheted up pressure on Washington to tackle the root causes of a wave of US-bound migrants from Central America and Haiti coming to his country.
“We don’t want Mexico to be a migrant camp. We want the underlying problem to be addressed,” he told reporters.
Tens of thousands of migrants, many of them Haitians who had been living in South America, have arrived in recent weeks in Mexico hoping to enter the United States.
Instead they have found themselves stranded in a crowded city in southern Mexico or at the border with the United States, which has begun to repatriate Haitians by air from Texas.
The Mexican leader has repeatedly urged the United States to invest in economic development in Central America to generate jobs so people do not need to flee poverty.
Otherwise, migrants would continue to be put in shelters and “we will not face the underlying problem,” he said.
Earlier this week, Lopez Obrador said that Washington had pledged to invest four billion dollars but “nothing has come.”
He said Friday that US President Joe Biden’s administration had been receptive to the proposal, and the delay was partly because the plan had to be approved by the US Senate.
Lopez Obrador also called for more international aid for Haiti, plagued by poverty and political turmoil following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July and a devastating earthquake last month.
“It’s not just assisting Haitian migrants who out of necessity leave their country … something has to be done, and here the UN is taking a long time,” he said.
“Where are the international human rights organizations?” he asked.