Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Friday that he will ask the U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo to invest US$2 billion in El Salvador to curb migration flows.
'Mexico Is Not Ready to Be Safe Third Country', Ambassador Says
Ebrard will meet with Pompeo on Sunday and it is expected that they will address the issues related to immigration flows and the trade agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada.
The Mexican diplomat recalled that an agreement signed on June 7 between the two countries established a commitment to lead the efforts for the "Comprehensive Development Plan for Central America" project.
He pointed out that Mexico will invest US$100 million and that the U.S. "could invest more than US$2 billion a year in El Salvador alone, if we make a proportional effort" due to the size of its economy and "to be even."
"That's what we're going to tell you, Pompeo, since with that level of investment the 'migration problem' would be eliminated," Ebrard said and added that "we would have a great boost to human development in El Salvador."
The Mexican minister and El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele opened Friday a project to plant agroforestry systems on 50,000 hectares which is expected to create 20,000 jobs until December.
Funded with US$31 million granted by Mexico, this initiative is part of the actions President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is carrying out to control migratory flows and prevent the U.S. imposes higher tariffs on Mexican products.
Similar forestry projects, which amount for up to 400,000 hectares, are also being implemented in other Mexican states such as Chiapas, Campeche and Tabasco.
Since October 2018, thousands have increased the flow of Central American migrants crossing Mexico and seeking to reach the U.S. border.
At the end of May, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the imposition of tariffs on all Mexican products as a punishment to its neighbor country for not stopping the Central American migration.
On June 7, in order to avoid the U.S. economic sanctions, Mexico agreed to deploy thousands of National Guard troops on its frontiers to prevent migrants from reaching the U.S.
If this Latin American country fails to fulfill this mission, it will have to accept the status of a safe third country as of July 22, which means that the Trump Administration will be able to send asylum seekers to Mexico to remain there until their asylum applications are approved.