Kamala Harris Meets Mexican President AMLO in Mexico City

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Kamala Harris Meets Mexican President AMLO in Mexico City” – below is their description.

    Vice President Kamala Harris arrived at Mexico’s National Palace Tuesday with a visit with Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a key but complicated ally in the Biden administration’s efforts to curb the spike in migration at the U.S. border.

    While López Obrador committed in a previous virtual meeting with Harris that the U.S. can “count on us” to help address the issue of irregular migration, the Mexican president has in the past blamed President Joe Biden for the increase in migration at the border.

    Standing for an official photo with Harris, Lopez Obrador said the two would discuss migration “addressing its roots.”

    Harris, in her role dealing with the root causes of increased migration from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as Mexico, has sought to strengthen diplomatic relations with the Mexican president.

    The meeting follows Harris’ Monday visit to Guatemala, where she met with President Alejandro Giammattei. To coincide with their meeting the Biden administration announced a number of new commitments to combat trafficking, smuggling, and corruption, as well as investments in economic development in the country.

    The two witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding that will establish greater cooperation between the two nations on development programs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

    Harris aides say the two leaders are discussing vaccine sharing, the economic and security relationship between the two nations, and dealing with the root causes of migration from other countries in the region.

    The increase in migration at the border has become one of the major challenges confronting Biden in the early months of his first term, with Republicans seizing on an issue they see as politically advantageous as polling suggests Americans are less favorable toward Biden’s approach to immigration than they are toward his policies on the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Regardless of the eventual outcome of her meetings Tuesday, Mexico will remain a key partner in enforcement efforts at the border.

    Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Relations said earlier on Tuesday the talks would focus on “how to address the root causes of migration. We are not going to talk about operations or other things,” dismissing possible discussions of enforcement efforts.

    Illegal border crossings have increased steadily since April 2020, after Trump introduced pandemic-related powers to deny migrants the opportunity to seek asylum, but further accelerated under Biden, who quickly scrapped many of Trump’s hardline border policies — most notably the “Remain in Mexico” program to make asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for court dates in U.S. immigration court.

    Mexicans accounted for 36% of encounters with people who crossed illegally in April, the largest nationality according to the latest monthly data available from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    Hondurans were second with 22% and Guatemalans were third with 17%.

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