AMLO eyes new phase for Mexico-US immigration cooperation
Mexico City, Sep 7 (EFE).- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed hope here Tuesday that the United States and Mexico will enter a new stage of bilateral immigration cooperation following this week’s High-Level Economic Dialogue meeting in Washington.
“I hope there’s a response and that a new stage begins,” the Mexican head of state popularly known as AMLO said, adding that strides made in that area historically have been in the direction of limiting and containing the migratory flow.
AMLO confirmed on Monday that his administration will deliver a letter on immigration addressed to US President Joe Biden during the HLED meeting.
That missive will urge the Biden administration to address the root causes of migration and offer temporary work visas to Central Americans.
On Tuesday, AMLO said of the letter that it covers the immigration topic and contains a proposal to make migratory flows more orderly.
“Putting into practice a plan to ensure there’s work in Central America” and thereby address the causes of that phenomenon, Lopez Obrador said.
Alluding to the millions of open positions that US business owners are struggling to fill, he added that the US needs workers and should offer temporary visas.
“You can’t use coercive measures to solve a problem that requires a thorough, comprehensive approach,” the Mexican president said.
He recalled that progress was made in the trade area with former President Donald Trump’s administration, a reference to the hammering out of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which entered into force last year as the successor to the much-maligned 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.
But he said no similar strides were made on immigration, an issue that was left “pending.”
“You can’t open the border and let everyone freely cross” because that would be in violation of current law, AMLO added.
He also stressed the need to offer better protection for migrants who undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the US, a trek in which they are often preyed upon by criminals and corrupt Mexican officials.
“We don’t want misfortune,” the president said, adding that there is less organized crime in the southern part of the country.
Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard added at Tuesday’s press briefing that officials also will discuss border infrastructure during Thursday’s meeting to address the existing imbalance between the two countries.
With respect to the causes of migration, Ebrard said Mexico is hoping for a positive response from the US side. He added that investments need to start soon “because a lot of time has already passed.”
The region is currently experiencing its biggest migratory wave in years.
In July, US authorities detained 212,672 undocumented migrants at the southern border, the highest one-month total in 20 years. EFE