MEXICO CITY (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown wrapped up a three-day visit to Mexico on Wednesday, saying he will work with the U.S. government upon his return home to find a long-term solution to the immigration crisis.
“I’ll work closely with the federal government, who is responsible for dealing with this difficult situation, and I will make plain that California will not hesitate to do what it can to help,” Brown said.
The governor came to meet with officials and discuss trade, investment and environmental cooperation, but immigration took center stage and he added a meeting with Roman Catholic bishops to talk about the surge in unaccompanied children trying to cross the border, coming mainly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Brown said California was willing to shelter more migrant children if needed.
“What is required is a serious plan of investment in Central America in collaboration with Mexico and the United States, and that requires cooperation of Democrats and Republicans,” Brown said at a news conference with Mexican Labor Secretary Alfonso Navarrete Prida.
The two announced a non-binding agreement to come up with a pilot program to educate Mexican temporary farm workers who travel to California about their rights and create a database of those in Mexico recruiting U.S.-bound, low-skilled workers.
The governor said his trip to Mexico focused on improving California’s relationship with its southern neighbor. He also signed non-binding agreements on trade, education and environmental cooperation.
Brown said California agreed to help Mexico find ways to build renewal energy plants in Baja California and to find ways to shorten long waits at the Tijuana-San Diego international border crossing.
“Because of our close proximity with Mexico, I feel California has a special responsibility and capacity to be a positive force in making all these issues redound to the benefit of both California and Mexico,” the governor said.