Tags: mexico | biden | plants | migration | illegal immigration

Mexico Plans Tree Planting, Regional Migration Pitch to Biden

Mexico Plans Tree Planting, Regional Migration Pitch to Biden

Migrants walk along the Stanton international bridge from El Paso, Texas to Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, as they are expelled from the US, on March 29. (Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty)

Sunday, 18 April 2021 04:11 PM

Mexico’s president will propose a regional agreement on migration to the U.S. this week and the expansion of his tree planting program to Central America as an option to provide order in the process of seeking entry to the U.S.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that he would propose the plan to U.S. President Joe Biden at a summit on climate change on Thursday. He said the plan could create more than a million jobs and that participants in the reforestation program should be given a chance to obtain U.S. work visas and, eventually, even U.S. citizenship.

“This would allow us to order the flow of migration, which overflowed in March,” Lopez Obrador said in a video posted on Sunday from his ranch in the southern state of Chiapas.

Lopez Obrador’s tree program, known as Sembrando Vida, or Sowing Life, was one of the flagship cash payment programs that he introduced after taking power following a landslide election in 2018. The program provides a monthly stipend to people in rural areas to cultivate hard wood and fruit trees in deforested zones.

Still, the $3.4 billion program may have caused 73,000 hectares of forest coverage loss in 2019, according to a study by the World Resources Institute. Farmers in southeastern Mexico showed Bloomberg News during a recent trip to the region how they had chopped down and burned trees to be able to receive government payments to plant saplings in degraded land.

The president has denied that mass deforestation was taking place. On Sunday, he said the program had created 80,000 jobs in the state of Chiapas, next to Guatemala.

Mexico’s Vast Tree-Planting Program Is Encouraging Deforestation

Apprehensions on the U.S. southern border hit a two-decade high of 172,000 in March with mostly Central Americans fleeing deep poverty, violence as well as the devastation from two hurricanes last year. On Saturday, Biden said he would announce a higher refugee cap for this year following criticism for keeping a low ceiling in place in an order issued on Friday.

Mexico, along with the U.S., Canada and Central America, need to come up with a migration accord to complement the North American trade agreement, Lopez Obrador said. The plan needs to increase investments and opportunities in Central America while also providing more legal routes to work and live in the U.S. or Canada, he said.

“This is the way to strengthen productive commercial and economic activities of North America,” he said. “If we don’t unite in the Americas, Asia will out pace us.”

© Copyright 2021 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


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Mexico's president will propose a regional agreement on migration to the U.S. this week and the expansion of his tree planting program to Central America as an option to provide order in the process of seeking entry to the U.S.
mexico, biden, plants, migration, illegal immigration
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2021-11-18
Sunday, 18 April 2021 04:11 PM
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