Thursday, February 2, 2023

Mexico bets on expansion of immigration plan at North American leaders’ summit

Mexico City – Mexico chose on Monday to expand an immigration program recently announced by the United States, which was already meant to increase the number of temporary visas the country could grant, but also deport people from across the common border. Also the number of migrants.

Read also: Biden in Mexico, column by Jorge Ramos

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s statement came hours before the start of a bilateral meeting with Joe Biden, which will be followed by a trilateral summit of North American leaders, which will also be attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who landed in Mexico. City on Monday afternoon.

“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but it’s part of what we’re going to discuss at the summit,” López Obrador declared. ,

Before the appointment in the Mexican capital, Biden announced a major change in border policy and spent four hours in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, his first border visit as president.

According to the weekend agreement, which was approved by the Mexican government, Mexico agreed to receive 30,000 Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Haitians from the United States every month, and in return, Washington would provide an equal number of temporary work visas. People of these four nationalities every month, if they meet certain requirements, such as arriving by plane.

Read also: How is Joe Biden’s new immigration plan?

“We support all these measures to give alternatives, to give alternatives,” said López Obrador. “If this is consolidated, it will generate hope for those who want to leave their countries”. In his opinion, this could be “a beginning” for a more orderly migration and for this reason he considered its eventual expansion feasible.

Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that talks were ongoing and that he was wary of a highly contentious issue in US domestic politics that rights groups see as reminiscent of former President Donald Trump’s hard line.

Sullivan said, “We need to see how the program announced last week works in practice, what adjustments need to be made to that program — if any — and then we can talk about next steps.” “

Sending more immigrants to Mexico could help solve the problem of deporting people to their home countries, with which the United States has shaky relations.

But a US official who is part of the summit’s delegation, and who requested anonymity to talk about ongoing talks, told the Associated Press that the three countries are working on different approaches to addressing the immigration issue. And one of the areas in which there may be announcements is cooperative.

The United States, Mexico and Canada are trying to better manage the growing migrant flows coming to North America and fight more effectively against migrant smugglers, although economic, commercial or climate change issues also dominate their talks. would be of great importance.

But the leaders wanted to emphasize common points, despite differences between governments. López Obrador, after welcoming Trudeau, stressed via his Twitter account that relations with Canada were “more than good”, that companies from that country “invest without hindrance in Mexico and that country has The government has been generous in granting temporary work visas to our compatriots”.

But despite the three countries’ interest in North American integration across other issues on the table – climate change, energy and supply chains – there are also differences.

For example, both Canada and the United States are negotiating with Mexico to resolve a strong dispute over energy laws that give privileges to Mexican state companies to the detriment of private companies, which violates the North American Free Trade Agreement. Does

In addition to the hard-working agenda, Biden’s national security adviser indicated that the appointment would be “a good opportunity for President Biden to deepen his personal commitment to President López Obrador and Prime Minister Trudeau.”

Biden, the first head of the White House to visit Mexico in nearly a decade, arrived in the capital on Sunday night and was received by his Mexican counterpart. They then boarded the “Beast” to cross to Mexico City, where Biden would spend the night. That conversation was the first personal and direct contact between the leaders, two politicians who need to understand each other but who have different visions and priorities.

“We speak on very good terms,” ​​the Mexican said at his morning conference call on Monday. “We talked about the issues that we are going to discuss in today’s meeting,” he said.

In addition to migration, López Obrador said he talked about the development and integration of not only North America but the entire continent, both economically and socially.

He said, “that union can be achieved between all the countries of the American continent, that we can complement each other, because it is the continent with the most potential, the most resources.”

The recent arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, one of the sons of jailed drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was not discussed, although his capture has been described by various analysts as a gift, according to Mexican media reports. was seen as The visit was deemed a “lack of respect” by the Mexicans for the actions and the 10 soldiers who lost their lives.

Everything indicates, however, that security will be among the topics of the bilateral meeting between the two, which began with a message from the two first ladies.

Read in two voices, each in their own language and in the capital of the most dangerous country for journalists on the continent, he insisted that “freedom of faith, expression and the press is the basis of a democracy.” And he reaffirmed his respect for the law, for the voice of the people, for Native communities, for education, and for the family.

Following the dinner that López Obrador will offer his counterparts on Monday, the three will also discuss manufacturing, trade, the economy, investment and other issues of potential global impact of a more cooperative North America on Tuesday.

“This meeting will deepen our coordination and advance our shared priorities for North America,” Biden tweeted.

The Mexican ambassador to Washington, Martha Barcena, remarked that the two governments should take care of “all the choreography” because “the relationship is so complicated that the rabbit can jump anywhere.”

As of now, no message was scheduled for Monday after the Mexico-United States bilateral meeting.

López Obrador has made no secret of his good relationship with former President Trump and has toughened his rhetoric against Washington in this administration, also criticizing on Monday the fact that the US Congress blocked funding for the war in Ukraine. approved and not in favor of migrants.

However, he flattered Biden, whom he described as a “very nice person” and with whom he trusted to reach agreements and move past existing disputes.

Biden has expressed his concern about security issues, drug trafficking and killings of journalists in Mexico, and the United States has shown its disagreement with López Obrador when the Mexican organized the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles last year. The decision to boycott was made because Biden did not want to invite the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The head of the White House has warmer relations with Trudeau than with López Obrador, but he has not yet visited Canada during his presidency.

* Associated Press reporter Gisela Salomon contributed to this story from Miami.

Nation World News Desk
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