Mon, 14 Jun 2021

US Vice President Calls for Immigration Effort with Mexico

Voice of America
08 May 2021, 04:35 GMT+10

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said Friday the U.S. and Mexico must collaborate to reduce immigration from Mexico by attacking violence and corruption in Central America.

The vice president made her appeal during virtual immigration talks with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Harris told Lopez Obrador it was in the best interests of both countries to address the root causes of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, all located in a Central American region known as the Northern Triangle.

U.S. President Joe Biden has tasked Harris with leading the White House effort to curb immigration at the U.S. southern border, through which more than 20,000 unaccompanied children entered the U.S. since January.

President Lopez Obrador told reporters at his regular news conference shortly before Friday's meeting he supports safer migration and that he had a specific proposal to discuss with Harris.

Lopez Obrador touted a tree-planting jobs program in Central America that he said could help participants get work visas in the U.S. He first mentioned the proposal at a Washington climate summit last month, to the surprise of some in attendance.

Harris said on Wednesday she would visit Mexico and Guatemala on June 7-8 to search for solutions to the immigration challenge, her first foreign trip as vice president.

Prior to the meeting, Lopez Obrador also told reporters that his government sent a diplomatic letter asking the U.S. to explain funding for an anti-corruption organization that has criticized his government.

Lopez Obrador accused Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, a group that investigates political corruption, of trying to undermine his government. He described funding for the group from the U.S. Agency for International Development as "promoting a form of coup."

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