Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pitched a tree-planting jobs program in Central America that he said should lead to work visas in the United States, in immigration talks on Friday (May 7) with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.
At the start of the call, Harris said the United States and Mexico must fight violence and corruption together, along with the root causes of migration in Central America.
Lopez Obrador said he had a specific proposal he wanted to discuss with Harris. He did not give details, but told reporters minutes earlier that the tree planting proposal was at the top of his mind.
Lopez Obrador, who touted his good relations with both the previous Trump administration and the current Biden administration, told reporters at his regular news conference Friday morning that he also favors safer migration.
The trees-for-visas proposal was met with some surprise when Lopez Obrador previously raised it at a Washington climate summit in April.
President Joe Biden has entrusted Harris with leading efforts to cut immigration from Mexico and Central America’s “Northern Triangle” countries – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – as the administration grapples with an increase in people crossing into the United States at the southern border.
Harris has said she will visit Mexico and Guatemala on June 7-8 – her first foreign trip as vice president.
(Production: Ashraf Fahim)