COACHELLA, Calif. - Assemblyman Victor Manuel Perez is back in the desert from a trip to Central America. He and six other California lawmakers visited El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama. He talked about the conditions people are trying to flee at a news conference at Coachella City Hall.
The goal of the trip was to strengthen ties, exchange information on issues such as trade and investment, infrastructure and climate change.
Perez said people in those countries face disgraceful conditions among them public safety, homelessness, lack of education and poverty.
"Poverty here exists but it doesn't compare to out there," said Perez.
Perez said people there are hungry to live and that's what forces thousands of them to migrate to the U.S.
Perez returned with a message from leaders in Central America.
"They take responsibility.They want to work hard to ensure when when folks come back, if they're deported, they're going to do anything they can to ensure their safety and build opportunities," said Perez.
They're asking our government to give the undocumented immigrants their day in court and hope for a better relationship with California and the U.S.
"For example, in El Salvador, the $277 million for the Millennium Fund would go to the transportation projects, small business loans and vocational education," said Perez.
The U.S. put a hold on that money until the government meets certain conditions.
"I think we have a responsibility and obligation because it's a moral one and the mass migration is happening, we also have to be critical of ourselves," said Perez.
Perez will join Gov. Jerry Brown in Mexico City next week to meet with Mexican government and business leaders. The goal is to help boost trade and expand environmental and economic cooperation.
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