Lopez Obrador applauds Biden’s immigration plan, halt in building wall

Mexico City, Jan 21 (efe-epa).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday said that he considers newly-inaugurated US President Joe Biden’s immigration plan “very good” and hailed his suspension of construction on former President Donald Trump’s controversial and much criticized border wall.

“We have nothing to object to. On the contrary. We agree that that is what must be done. We view it as good, very good,” said Lopez Obrador, widely known as AMLO, at his morning press conference at the National Palace on the day after Biden’s inauguration and Trump’s departure from office.

Among the first moves made by Biden on Wednesday after the initial inaugural events were completed and he arrived at the White House was to freeze construction on the border wall, safeguard the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program protecting undocumented migrants brought to the US as children and include undocumented migrants living in the US in the Census count.

The moves were all designed to reverse or cancel Trump administration policies.

In addition, Biden is scheduled to halt the “Remain in Mexico” program that forces people asking for asylum in the US to await US legal hearings, processing and other proceedings in Mexico, a Trump administration policy that had stranded thousands of migrants in the border zone.

AMLO emphasized on Thursday that the Democratic US leader wants “to regularize the situation of Mexican residents, and those of other nationalities, who are living in the United States” and he hailed the fact that “he’s going to facilitate” matters so that the 38 million Mexicans living in the US may acquire “dual citizenship.”

In addition, the Mexican president said that “the thing about the wall is very good,” after emphasizing that it was not only Trump who raised border barriers but also former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

“The idea that existed was that everything linked to the wall was (from) Trump,” AMLO said, adding that “the good things” about whoever is US president must also be recognized.

Despite Trump’s harsh tone vis-a-vis migrants, AMLO always tried to maintain a good relationship with the mercurial US leader and delayed in acknowledging Biden’s Nov. 3 election victory for more than a month.

In 2019, Mexico militarized its southern border with Guatemala to halt the arrival of illegal Central American migrant caravans after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican exports, but the two leaders renewed their generally positive relationship and met in Washington last year.

AMLO on Thursday touted the fact that “there is no threat to Mexico” from the US government.

“To make it clear, to those who are saying that we’re going to be confronting the US government, they’ll just have to be content (with the new situation),” said the Mexican leader, adding that his “relationship (with Biden) is very good,” having met the new US president during the eight years he served as vice president under Obama.

In addition, AMLO said that the other initial moves – many of them by executive order – made by Biden “are very good,” emphasizing in particular the return of the US to the Paris Climate Accord, in which Mexico is also taking part.

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