By Jorge Antonio Rocha
At a press conference, Mexico’s president spoke on the current migrant “crisis” at the US border, calling for more urgent measures by President Joe Biden.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged the crisis be tackled, saying migrants’ lives are at risk and that the US needs to address the causes of migration and tell those who plan to cross the US border of the situation.
“The United States isn’t investing enough, what is necessary, and the causes need to be addressed. This is not an issue that can be resolved with coercive measures, closing borders, militarizing. No, you have to go and deal with the causes,” he said.
Biden recently said that Mexico should take back all migrants who arrive at the US-Mexico border.
“The relationship with the US is very good, there is very good will on the part of President Biden, but as in all parts of the world, bureaucracies are slow. It requires pushing the elephant to walk and do things fast and go far,” added Lopez Obrador.
– Coronavirus fallout
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard also told the press conference that the COVID-19 pandemic had dealt a major blow to the economy of Central America.
Restrictive measures to combat the virus took a toll on the livelihood of millions of Central Americans, and the only way to resolve the situation is through significant investment, he said.
Mexico has approached the US government with a plan to tackle the root causes of migration, Ebrard said, adding: “We have proposed that there be an immediate action program in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and other series of investments that could include southern Mexico.”
Ebrard explained that Mexico had presented the US with major social assistance programs that Lopez Obrador implemented at the beginning of his presidency to assist unemployed and undereducated people from Mexico and incentivizing the rural sector.
“If Mexico invests $100 million, the United States may well invest $2 billion a year. With something like this, we would make the largest social welfare program that has ever been done in the history of Central America and southern Mexico,” he said.
According to Lopez Obrador, through social assistance programs of this nature, Mexico has ensured work for over 420,000 farmers.
“We have already said it on many occasions, you have to attend to people, nobody leaves their country and abandons their family, for pleasure, they do it out of necessity,” he added.