Mexican prez to write to Biden on temporary migrant visas

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks at a press conference in Mexico City, Mexico, Dec. 8, 2020. (Photo by Francisco Canedo/Xinhua/IANS)

Mexico City, Sep 3 (IANS) Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he would write to his US counterpart Joe Biden next week to push for his proposal to grant temporary visas to Central American migrants, along with other support measures.

“Next week at the latest I will send him a letter because we can’t just be detaining and holding; we have to address the causes” of mass migration, Lopez Obrador said on Thursday during his regular morning press conference, referring to the new wave of migrant caravans crossing Mexico’s southern border, Xinhua reported.

“People do not leave their towns because they like to, they do not abandon their families because they like to, they do it out of necessity,” he added.

In his letter to Biden, Lopez Obrador said he would again propose extending to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador two welfare programs already in place in poorer parts of Mexico: “Sembrando Vida” (Planting Life) and “Jovenes Construyendo el Futuro” (Youth Building a Future).

This would generate some 330,000 jobs in six months in these Central American countries, the president estimated.

For those who sign up for the programs, the Biden administration should offer temporary six-month visas, he proposed.

Mass migration, mainly from Central America, has been on the rise in recent years due to poverty and joblessness, both worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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