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.
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