The Mexican president has said he wants to propose to Joe Biden to expand the aid program in a bid to curb migration to the United States.
The Mexican president has said he plans to offer his US counterpart Joe Biden a plan to extend a key Mexican social program to Central America, as part of ongoing efforts to stem migration to the United States.
In a video message on Sunday, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he wanted to offer the Sembrando Vida program, which provides work and support to the agricultural sector in Central America.
“What I want to propose is that the Sembrando Vida program be implemented in Central America,” Lopez Obrador said in the video.
“So people don’t have to migrate and that helps the environment.”
Thousands of migrants and asylum seekers from Central America and Mexico have made often perilous journeys north to the United States in recent years, fueled by economic hardship, gang violence and natural disasters, among others.
US officials arrested more than 172,000 people who entered the country from its southern border with Mexico in March alone.
Many of those who entered the United States were deported under a Trump-era policy that effectively sealed the border to most migrants due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the Biden administration is allowing unaccompanied children to enter the country, along with some families, prompting it to deploy additional federal resources at the border and open additional facilities to house the people.
As of Thursday, more than 22,000 children were detained by the US government, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reported, including more than 2,500 who were still in substandard facilities run by US border officials.
“As many of these emergency shelters currently stand, children are coming in and there is no way out,” Leecia Welch, senior director of legal advocacy and protection, told AP. children at the National Center for Youth Law. “These are complete dead ends.”
Biden said he plans to tackle the “root causes” of migration, especially in the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to curb border arrivals.
Last month, he appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the effort, and she is expected to travel to Mexico and Guatemala for migration talks shortly.
A US official said last week that Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras had agreed to deploy troops to their borders in an attempt to stem the flow of migration.
“We got deals for them to place more troops on their own border,” Tyler Moran, Biden’s special assistant for immigration policy, told MSNBC news outlet.
Meanwhile, Lopez Obrador said on Sunday that he believes the Sembrando Vida program could create thousands of jobs in southern Mexico and countries in Central America.