Mexico promises US more action on tackling migration

Mexico promises US more action on tackling migration

Mexico promises US more action on tackling migration

Before a high-level US visit next week, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador indicated Friday that his government would speed up efforts to curb irregular migratory flows.

The vow comes a day after Lopez Obrador spoke by phone with US President Joe Biden on the contentious issue.

Lopez Obrador stated that the “extraordinary” migrant crisis would be the focus of Wednesday’s talks in Mexico City with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other senior US officials.

Mexico, he said, would strengthen containment measures in the south, near the Guatemalan border.

“The agreement is that we continue working together and we already have a proposal to reinforce our plans,” Lopez Obrador said.

Blinken will be accompanied on his visit by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and White House Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood Randall, the Biden administration said Thursday.

The talks come as the rival Republican Party pushes Biden’s Democrats for major changes on immigration policy in exchange for approving a package of emergency assistance for Ukraine and Israel.

US border police have in recent weeks reported approximately 10,000 crossings every day.

The previous fiscal year, from October 2022 through September 2023, saw a record 2.4 million encounters by US border patrol with migrants, including at both official ports of entry and elsewhere along the southern border.

In a stark illustration of the dangers facing them, two migrants drowned on Thursday while trying to cross the Rio Grande near the Mexican city of Matamoros, south of Brownsville, Texas.

Images obtained by AFP showed three men struggling to keep their heads above water clogged with vegetation and garbage, before two of them disappeared beneath the surface.

The migrants were trying to cross despite the mud and detritus because there were no Mexican immigration agents at the location, witnesses told AFP.