Biden and the Mexican President meet on migration and other issues | Q control policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden discussed efforts to address the unprecedented migratory flow along the United States’ southern border during a Friday afternoon call with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

“Most of the conversation was about migration and was about continuing to work on coordination, economic coordination, taking action to reduce migration to the border and they’ve been a partner in that over the past few months” , said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. said during Friday’s briefing.

PSAKI said the tone of the call was “very constructive.” The agenda included the upcoming Summit of the Americas in June in Los Angeles and an end to coronavirus restrictions on asylum seekers trying to come to the United States.

The White House said their call lasted 52 minutes, ending just before 2 p.m. Senior Biden administration officials said ahead of the conversation that he would also address Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, global economic challenges, the pandemic, climate change and the illicit drug trade.

The meeting came at a time of international and domestic tensions, as the war in Ukraine has contributed to global inflation amid concerns over likely shortages of oil, natural gas and food.

In addition, the scheduled end of the May 23 health ban on asylum seekers could trigger a rush to the US-Mexico border. It would heighten tensions over immigration ahead of the U.S. midterm elections to decide whether Democrats will retain control of the House and Senate.

The Trump administration imposed the so-called Title 42 restrictions on asylum seekers in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic began to gather pace. Officials said at the time the ban was intended to protect public health, but immigration control advocates also saw it as a way to seal the border to migrants, a longtime priority of the former president. Donald Trump. Mexico is seen as a key partner in managing the surge in migrant numbers once the ban is lifted.

On Tuesday, López Obrador told his daily press conference that the White House had requested the meeting and that he was not entirely sure what the two leaders would discuss.

“It is important that there is this communication, to listen to President Biden who has treated us with respect, as President Trump has also treated us with respect, and we have to ensure a good relationship,” he said. .

López Obrador also took note of the upcoming Summit of the Americas in his presentation. The Biden administration has made it clear that coordinating a regional approach to managing migration flows will be the focus of the June meeting in Los Angeles.

López Obrador is also due to visit four Central American countries and Cuba next week. In Central America, he plans to talk to his counterparts about economic development and social programs that could reduce the pressure on people in those countries to migrate. He has previously urged the US government to support some of his initiatives in Central America.

On Ukraine, Mexico condemned Russia’s invasion, but refused to follow the United States and other countries in enforcing sanctions. The Biden administration has imposed sanctions and frozen central bank assets in an effort to erode Russia’s military capabilities.

On another topic, the US government has voiced objections to controversial power sector reforms pushed by López Obrador that would favor state-run electricity generators over private power plants. A law to that effect has been passed, but a similar constitutional reform failed in the Mexican Congress last week.


Sherman reported from Mexico.

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