Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has urged the US government to invest more in development plans in Central America to curb immigration.

“We are seeking investment so there is development, so there are jobs and well-being in Central American countries, so the people are not forced to emigrate,” the President said during a press conference here on Thursday.

“A social problem cannot be solved only with coercive measures,” said Lopez Obrador, referring to a US Supreme Court decision that rules the current administration in Washington must reinstate a controversial immigration policy put in place in 2019 by former president Donald Trump.

Widely known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, it bars entry to asylum seekers, forcing them to remain in Mexico until the date of their hearing at a US immigration court, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The cause (of immigration) has to be addressed,” said Lopez Obrador, calling for greater investment in development.

In July, the US Border Patrol reported nearly 200,000 encounters with migrants along the two countries’ border, which was the highest monthly total in more than two decades.

The number of monthly encounters had fallen to 16,182 in April 2020, shortly after the coronavirus outbreak forced the closure of the southwestern border.

But migrant encounters have climbed sharply since then, reaching 199,777 in July, according to the latest data from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

–IANS

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