By KELIN DILLON
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced on Sunday, April 18, that he will be proposing a new agreement between Central and North American countries over the migration crisis.
AMLO said he’d be presenting his proposal at the virtual U.S. Climate Summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden, which is set to be held on Thursday, April 22, and Friday, April 23.
López Obrador’s plan suggests that Central American migrants would work planting crops in Mexico for three years, after which they would be granted a six-month work visa to the United States, with a later path to apply for U.S. citizenship.
“We could make an agreement and say: ‘Let’s see, we support you to plant your land. If you are going to plant coffee, if you are going to plant cocoa for three years, we support you for three years and even more, but after those three years, once you have your harvest, you already have the automatic right to a six-month work visa for the United States,” said AMLO in his announcement on YouTube.
“You’ll go six months (to the United States) and then you will return to your town. And then, three years after having your work visa, with good behavior, you already have the right to apply for your U.S. citizenship.”
The proposal would aim to continue Mexico’s Sowing Life program, created to address rural poverty as well as aid in combating the country’s deforestation, boosting environmental activism, while simultaneously providing economic compensation to poor families.
“We can plant 3 million hectares in three years and give up to 1.2-1.3 million jobs to Central American brothers and to Mexicans from Chiapas, Campeche, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco. This will also allow us to put in order the migratory flow,” continued López Obrador.
The Mexican proposal would include collaboration between Mexico, the United States, Canada and the Central American countries affected by the migratory flow, which has seen a massive surge following effects from the covid-19 pandemic and the two devastating hurricanes that hit Central America during 2020.
The White House and U.S. State Department have yet to respond to López Obrador’s proposal.
…April 20, 2021