Mexico’s AMLO Expected to Propose Guest Worker Program to Biden

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is expected to propose a major new guest-worker program for Mexicans and Central Americans in the U.S. during a virtual meeting on Monday with President Joe Biden.

The Mexican leader, known as AMLO, estimates that the U.S. needs 600,000 to 800,000 new workers annually to maintain its growth rate and will put forward a possible solution.

“I have a teleconference with Biden on Monday and we are going to discuss this matter,” Lopez Obrador said during an appearance in Zacatecas state, according to the Reforma newspaper.

Lopez Obrador compared the new proposal to the World War II-era Bracero Program, according to the report.

The program brought millions of Mexican guest workers to the U.S. on short-term contracts, primarily to work in agriculture. It was criticized for depressing wages for domestic farm workers.

“We are better at ordering the migratory flow, legalizing it, and giving workers a guarantee that they do not risk their lives, that human rights are protected,” Lopez Obrador said, according to the Reforma report.

The White House announced Friday that the two leaders would meet virtually to discuss “cooperation on migration, joint development efforts in Southern Mexico and Central America” as well as “Covid-19 recovery.”

This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken also conducted what the U.S. billed as “virtual travel” to Mexico and Canada.

The series of virtual meetings are in keeping with the Biden administration’s effort to show how seriously it’s taking restrictions governing work and travel amid the pandemic.

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