Mexico‘s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday said he urged a high-level delegation from the United States to support an integration scheme for North and South America with an eye to curbing mass immigration.
Lopez Obrador met in late December with a visiting delegation led by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, mainly to address immigration and economic issues.
Speaking to reporters at the National Palace in Mexico City, Lopez Obrador said his continent-wide integration plan included legalizing the immigration status of undocumented Hispanics living and working in the United States, especially those who have been residing there for more than 10 years.
He also proposed the U.S. Congress allocate 20 billion U.S. dollars to promote development in Latin America and the Caribbean, to lower the pressure to migrate northward in search of work.
Washington should additionally lift its trade embargo against Cuba and sanctions against Venezuela, he said.
“There has to be a humane policy, with a social dimension” to mitigate mass immigration, he said, adding the United States should “abandon the politics of 200 years ago, the hegemonic policy of impositions, of embargoes. That is from the Middle Ages, it has nothing to do with today’s world.”
Mexican officials and U.S. envoys agreed at the December meeting to strengthen collaboration to address mass immigration, as well as human trafficking and organized crime.
Delegations of the two countries agreed to meet again this month in Washington to make further progress in tackling the immigration crisis.