(Reuters) – Mexico and the United States are increasingly in agreement on the need to lift economic development of Central America in order to curb illegal immigration from the region, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Tuesday.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has sought to enlist U.S. support for his vision of stemming migration by creating more jobs and opportunities in Central America in the face of skepticism from his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump.
In a speech to diplomats in Mexico City, Ebrard said when Lopez Obrador first put forward the idea in 2018, it looked “almost impossible” given Trump’s tough stance on migrants.
“Today the positions are getting closer regarding this development initiative,” Ebrard said.
The minister noted that the U.S. government would soon give its view on plans to roll out more investment in Central America, which is home to the bulk of migrants caught trying to cross illegally into the United States from Mexico.
Ebrard reiterated that his government was pushing the United States to help reduce the flow of arms entering Mexico illegally, which increased gang violence and social unrest.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr would visit Mexico next week to hold more discussions on security, Ebrard said.