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Harris turns focus to Mexico on trip to address migration – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-06-08 06:58:47 –

Vice President Kamala Harris visits Mexico on Tuesday and meets with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, an important but complex ally of the Biden administration’s efforts to curb the surge of immigrants at the U.S. border. So, to conclude her first foreign visit.

Mexico City (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris concludes her first foreign visit with a visit to Mexico and a meeting with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday. American border.

Lopez Obrador promised in a previous virtual meeting with Harris that the United States could “rely on us” to address the issue of illegal immigrants, but the Mexican president has in the past immigrated at the border. He blamed President Joe Biden for the increase in the number of immigrants, and despite Mr. Trump’s hard-line immigration policy, he was on good terms with his predecessor, President Donald Trump.

Earlier last month, he also accused the United States of violating Mexico’s sovereignty by funding non-governmental organizations that were critical of the Mexican government.

But Harris is trying to address the root cause of the rise in immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, and to strengthen diplomatic relations with the President of Mexico. Having a virtual bilateral talk with him, Tuesday will provide the latest indicators of whether her efforts will bear fruit in either country.

“We have a partnership and we have a long-standing partnership. Outside of Canada, we are our closest neighbors to each other,” Harris told reporters on Monday night. “This is what I do with him. The basis of conversation. With that spirit, we need to be partners. “

The meeting met with President Alejandro Jamatti after Mr Harris visited Guatemala on Monday. At the meeting, the Biden administration announced many new efforts to combat trafficking, smuggling and corruption, as well as investments in the country’s economic development. However, the meeting with Lopez Obrador on Tuesday is not expected to fulfill so many concrete promises.

Both sides will witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding to establish greater cooperation between the two countries on development programs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Harris’s aides say they will discuss vaccine sharing, the economic and security relationship between the two countries, and addressing the root causes of immigrants from other countries in the region. Harris often says that the economic situation of the inhabitants of the region needs to be improved. Therefore, they do not feel the need to trek to the border with the United States.

According to Special Envoy Ricardo Zniga, the memorandum represents a new level of cooperation by traveling with Harris and is important because the two countries have “some of the same problems” with respect to illegal immigrants. Is.

“Because the rest of Central America is important to us, it is very important to show that the United States and Mexico are working together to improve the situation in the field in neighboring countries,” he said. I told a reporter who traveled with me.

Harris will spend the rest of the day meeting with female entrepreneurs and worker leaders in the country.

The meeting took place a few days after the Mexican midterm elections, during which time the Lopez Obrador party appeared to be poised to maintain a majority in the Mexican House of Commons, but some voters struggled. It did not reach the majority of two-thirds because it boosted the opposition. Election results.

Harris isn’t expected to talk about election results during talks with the president, but a bloody campaign — nearly 30 candidates or reserve candidates were killed as drug cartels tried to protect their interests. — Is sure to cast a shadow over their conversations. The inability of the government to provide security to parts of the country is a serious attempt to recover from pandemics with those displaced by violence in the context of immigrants. It is of interest to the United States, both for its impact on the weakened economy.

Still, the aide said in a meeting with Jean Matty that corruption was the main focus, but it’s unclear if she will raise the issue with Lopez Obrador.

However, the increase in immigrants at the border has become one of the major challenges Biden faces in the first months of his first term. Republicans have a political advantage, as polls show. They are working on the issue of thinking. They are heading towards his policy on the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are trying to make Harris the face of its immigration policy, accusing her and Biden of ignoring the issue because she and Biden have not yet visited the southern border. Harris is Guatemala on Monday. He told reporters that he was focused on addressing the root cause of migration in a way that produced “visible” results, rather than “exaggerated gestures.”

Despite the final outcome of Tuesday’s talks, Mexico will continue to be a major partner in its border enforcement efforts.

Illegal border crossings have steadily increased since April 2020, after Mr. Trump introduced a pandemic-related authority to deny immigrants the opportunity to seek asylum, but accelerated further under Mr. Biden. A program that keeps asylum seekers waiting in Mexico and waiting for a court due date in the US Immigration Court.

Immediately after taking office, Mr. Biden exempted unaccompanied children from title 42. Title 42 is named after the ambiguous section of the Public Health Act of 1944, which allows authorities to deny entry to prevent the spread of the disease. Mexico, under the Title 42 authorities, has agreed to regain its people, as well as the people of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

US border authorities encountered nearly 19,000 unaccompanied children in March, a record high. Overall, there were more than 170,000 border encounters in April, the highest level in more than 20 years, but the suspension under pandemic authorities had no legal impact and caused many repetitive crossings. Numerical values ​​cannot be compared directly.

According to the latest monthly data available from the US Customs and Border Protection, Mexicans account for 36% of all illegal encounters in April, which is the largest nationality. Hondurans were second with 22% and Guatemalans were third with 17%.

In March, Lopez Obrador also accused Biden of increasing immigrants at the U.S. border, saying at a press conference in March that the Biden administration had created “expectations” that “there would be better treatment for immigrants.” Blame.

“This makes it easier for immigrants from Central America, and from our country, to cross the border,” he said.

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