Harris To Meet With Mex. Pres. Concerning, “Tree-Planting Program”

Biden announced: Kamala Harris would take on the problems at the Mexican border but weeks later she has yet to tour the U.S. border with Mexico.

Instead she will meet virtually with Mexican President  Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on May 7  but the border will not be the main focus of the discussion, according to the Daily Mail:

Mexico’s top diplomat revealed the news and said the video meeting will focus on Mexico’s questioned tree-planting program.

López Obrador is trying to get the United States to help fund a massive expansion of the program into Central America as a way to stem migration.

It comes amid a dramatic surge in illegal crossings at the border, with more than 172,000 encounters in March alone, including a historic number of unaccompanied children. Harris’ office said in a statement that the meeting will focus on ‘the common goals of prosperity, good governance and addressing the root causes of migration.’ It did not mention the tree-planting initiative.

López Obrador spoke about his ‘Planting Life’ program at the virtual climate change summit Biden staged last week. The idea is to pay farmers to plant 1 billion fruit and timber trees in Mexico. The program has been extended to El Salvador, and López Obrador wants U.S. funding to further extend it to Honduras and Guatemala.

López Obrador believes the program prevents farmers from abandoning their land to come to the United States. He also proposed the U.S. give migrants six-month work visas that lead to citizenship.

“But environmentalists question whether planting big swaths of commercial species – sometimes on land that held native forests – is a good idea,” the Mail reported. “Opinions are mixed in Mexico on whether the program is really working and whether it can offset Mexico’s other policy of encouraging the use of fossil fuels.”

Mexico has planted 700,000 trees and is paying Mexican farmers $225 a month to take care of the saplings.

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