The Biden administration will dedicate $130 million to labor movement efforts in Mexico as it seeks to stem the surge in migration to the southern United States border, Vice President Kamala Harris said Tuesday.
“President Joe Biden and I are proud of the fact that we will be the most pro-union administration we’ve seen. In that way, we see an alignment with the leadership in Mexico,” Harris told reporters during a press conference in Mexico City.
The $130 million commitment by U.S. taxpayers will support Mexican efforts to bolster working conditions and address child and forced labor, among other reforms.
Harris made the announcement while in Mexico City on Tuesday, during the second leg of a two-part foreign trip — her first since taking office.
The vice president met with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico earlier in the day to discuss joint efforts between the two countries to curb the number of people seeking to migrate illegally to the U.S. Harris also met with women entrepreneurs and labor leaders, who she said was essential to the task.
“We believe that unions are what build the middle class,” Harris said before a meeting with six labor leaders and U.S. officials. “We believe that — and I certainly do — that anybody, regardless of whether they’ve been a member of a union or not, has organized labor to thank for the eight-hour workday, the weekends, sick leave, holidays.”
Of López Obrador, Harris said: “I know that he shares” this commitment.
While in Guatemala and Mexico, Harris has faced persistent questions about whether she intends to visit the southern U.S. border, where the number of apprehended Central American migrants has continued to grow.
Harris on Monday told reporters she would avoid “grand gestures” while tackling the issue but softened her stance under continued pressure.
Asked whether she would visit the border, Harris said, “Yes, I will — I have before,” reiterating earlier comments from that day.
“Listen, anybody, especially if you’re from California, you know, I’ve spent a lot of time on the border in both going there physically and aware of the issues,” she said.
Source: Washington Examiner : Kamala Harris promises $130 million in taxpayer dollars to Mexico labor reform movement