The United States is struggling to accommodate and process a growing number of migrants arriving at its southern border with Mexico.
Mexican and US officials discussed how to tackle the “root causes” of migration from Central America, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged more early Washington to contribute to the development of the region.
US President Joe Biden’s administration sent envoys to Mexico to discuss a recent increase in arrivals at the US-Mexico border. These talks will continue in Guatemala.
“Humanitarian actions have been put forward to promote, in the short term, inclusive economic development in northern Central America that alleviates the root causes of migratory flows in the region,” said the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.
Officials, including Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, also discussed different mechanisms for “orderly and safe” migration and the protection of human rights, especially those of children, the ministry said.
There was no immediate comment from the White House on the outcome of the talks.
Earlier on Tuesday, Lopez Obrador told a press conference that the best way to reduce migration pressures is to improve living standards in countries that traditionally send most people to the United States.
“People don’t go to the United States for fun, they go there out of necessity,” said Lopez Obrador. “We need support for the development of Central America and southern Mexico. Particularly in Central America. “
For years, most people seeking to cross the United States irregularly have been from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and the poorer regions of southern Mexico.
The US government said on Monday it was sending of envoys, including White House Border Coordinator Roberta Jacobson, to Mexico and Guatemala to seek their help in managing the surge in arrivals at the US border.
US officials are in trouble to house and treat a growing number of unaccompanied children, many of whom have been stuck in prison-like border crossings for days as they wait to be placed in overwhelmed government-run shelters.
The White House stressed Monday that the United States will work with the Mexican and Central American governments to alleviate the causes of migration and to emphasize to their populations that now is not the time to go north.
Jacobson is joined by Juan Gonzalez, senior director of the National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere, and Honduran-born diplomat Ricardo Zuniga, appointed this week as special envoy focusing on Central America.
Zuniga is the first U.S. special envoy to the region since the Cold War-era conflicts of the 1980s.
Mexico says that policy change encouraged people to think that it is now easier to enter the United States.