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Biden quietly pressing Mexico to limit migration

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)
A Texas State Trooper escorting asylum seekers at the border after they crossed the Rio Grande into the United States this month. At the end of last year, the number of Central Americans apprehended by Mexico declined, while detentions by American agents increased. (photo by Reuters)

While media is full of reports of President Biden’s plans to send doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico, there are some stories that he would love to remain underreported. A recent report has shown that Biden’s administration has been quietly pressing Mexico to increase the efforts to limit the flow of migrants, clinging to a Trump policy of relying on southern neighbors to enforce America’s immigration agenda.

According to a New York Times report published on Thursday, the Biden administration has been trying to curb the stream of migrants coming to the United States, urging Mexico to take in more families being expelled by American authorities and to step up enforcement at its southern border with Guatemala, Mexican officials and others briefed on the discussions have revealed. 

Apparently, President Biden moved quickly to dismantle some of former President Trump’s signature immigration policies, such as halting construction of a border wall, stopping the swift expulsion of children at the border, and proposing a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the United States.

But in reality, he is clinging to a central element of Trump’s agenda, relying on Mexico to restrain a wave of people making their way to the US.

During a video call this month, Biden asked President Andrés Manuel López Obrador whether more could be done to help solve the problem. 

Although Mexican officials say that the efforts to secure vaccines are separate from the negotiations over migration, but they acknowledge that relations between the United States and Mexico are in a critical stage. Mexico is slated to receive 2.5 million doses and Canada is expected to get 1.5 million doses. The administration is expected to announce the plan on Friday, The Washington Post reported

“These are two separate issues, as we look for a more humane migratory system and enhanced cooperation against COVID-19, for the benefit of our two countries and the region,” said Roberto Velasco, the director general for the North America region at Mexico’s foreign ministry.

One of the government officials said that Mexico has agreed to increase its presence on its southern border with Guatemala to deter migration from Central America. Local Mexican officials say their country has recently stepped up efforts to stop migrants on the northern border with the United States as well.


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