Biden, Mexico's president vow to cooperate on immigration

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Joe Biden (then VP) and Lopez Obrador (then a presidential candidate) in Mexico City in 2012. (AFP photo)

US President-elect Joe Biden and Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador have pledged to work on the issue of migration and its root causes in Central America and southern Mexico.

In a telephone call on Saturday, Biden and Lopez Obrador said they would make efforts to address the reasons for migration in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and southern Mexico.

The two “discussed working together on a new approach to regional migration that offers alternatives to undertaking the dangerous journey to the United States,” a summary of the call provided by Biden’s team said.

Biden said he would build “the regional and border infrastructure and capacity needed to facilitate a new orderly and humane approach to migration that will respect international norms regarding the treatment of asylum claims.”

Lopez Obrador had earlier this week suggested the two countries cooperate on the issue under Biden’s new Democratic administration. On Monday, the US Electoral College confirmed Biden’s Nov. 3 election win.

“We reaffirmed our commitment to working together for the well-being of our peoples and nations,” Lopez Obrador said on Twitter.

Republican President Donald Trump took a tough stance on migration, promising in 2016 to curb immigration by building a wall on the US border with Mexico. He also launched a crackdown on both legal and illegal entries into the country soon after he assumed office.

His unprecedented demands that the Mexican government do more to reduce the flow of migrants caused tension in the relationship.

He had asked Mexico City to harbor migrants in Mexico while they wait for their US court dates and pay for the border wall.

Meanwhile, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted, “There will be extensive bilateral cooperation and a very good relationship between the presidents of Mexico and the United States.”

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