Mexico and the United States agreed to strengthen cooperation to tackle the issues that drive Central American migrants north, following a video call on Friday between Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.
According to a statement from the Mexican president’s office, Lopez Obrador laid out for Harris his administration’s plan to curb immigration.
Called “Sembrando Vida” or “Planting Life,” the plan essentially calls for fighting environmental degradation and poverty, two of the main causes of unregulated migration. “We have many things in common and we agree with the policy that you are undertaking on immigration matters, and we are going to help,” Lopez Obrador told Harris.
The two sides also discussed current restrictions on cross-border travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ways to promote bilateral trade with sanitary measures in place, and vaccination progress in the border region.
Likewise, they discussed promoting investment in southern Mexico to strengthen cooperation within the framework of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on free trade, the statement added.
U.S. President Joe Biden, who took office on Jan. 20, has entrusted Harris to head efforts to curb northward migration from Mexico and the countries of Central America’s Northern Triangle: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.