The meeting between Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador happens at a time when record numbers of people are crossing the border and a group of migrants is making its way to the United States.
Instead of putting up walls and hurdles, Mexico’s president said on Wednesday that the U.S. Congress should offer more help to Latin America. This was just before he was supposed to meet with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken to talk about a rise in migration.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico also said that immigration would be a big issue in the US presidential race next year.
“The problem of migration is going to get worse,” he said.
On Wednesday, when Mr. Blinken was going to Mexico City, a record number of people were crossing the border. This month, there have been days when more than 10,000 people crossed the southern border with the United States.
A huge caravan that started its trip north on Sunday shows how hard it is to stop people from moving. Mexico’s government and news outlets say that between 6,000 and 10,000 people are making the trip.
President Biden’s southern border has always been a political weak spot. He has had trouble keeping the numbers down, even though he has tried to limit refugee claims at the border and send migrants back to Cuba and Venezuela.
Mexico’s president declares, “We need more U.S. support.” before meeting Blinken.
On U.S. Immigration.
- Texas’s Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law that lets police arrest people coming into the state from Mexico without a legal permit. After the law went into effect, El Paso County and two immigrant rights groups tried to overturn it.
- Ukrainian Funding: Republicans in Congress want big changes to U.S. immigration policy in return for giving Ukraine more money to fight Russia.
- A severance: According to U.S. border agents, they had to close a port in Lukeville, Arizona, to legal crosses so they could focus on the large number of illegal ones. The move has cut off some nearby towns from something they needed to survive.
- When Distinct Rules Apply: Hundreds of thousands of people try to get to the US every year by boat. But you can’t get asylum at sea, and almost everyone caught in U.S. waters is sent back, even kids who are going alone.
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Immigration has also become a big issue in Congress when it comes to help for Ukraine and Israel, since Republicans won’t give the money unless there is a new crackdown at the border.
Rather than building walls or barbed wire fences on the river, Mr. López Obrador said that Congress should think about “how to authorize resources for cooperation and support for the poor peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
“It is more effective and kind to put money into the growth of people,” he said.
The secretary of homeland security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, and the White House homeland security assistant, Liz Sherwood-Randall, will also be at the meeting on Wednesday.
Part of the reason the migrant group is getting so much attention is that it happened right before Mr. Blinken’s visit. Migrant caravans are pretty regular these days, and the police usually break them up before they get to the U.S. border.
The group is in the state of Chiapas, which is about 1,000 miles south of the U.S. border. It has people from Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Haiti, and other countries.
In November, a smaller group split up after hundreds of migrants were taken to shelters in the area by the government.
Republicans have stepped up their attacks on Mr. Biden over the number of people crossing the line. This is an issue that the president will still be talking about next year as he runs for re-election. Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law into effect in Texas that lets police arrest people who cross the border illegally In that state.
Last week, El Paso County took the bill to federal court. Mayors of Democratic towns have also put pressure on the president because of the growing number of migrants coming to their cities.
Border agents had to briefly close railroad crossings in El Paso and Eagle Pass, Texas, and the port of entry in Lukeville, Arizona, because of the rise in border crossings over the past few weeks.
Officials from the Biden administration said in a statement that they plan to talk to Mexican officials about the closed ports of entry once the railroad crossings are open again.
Last week, Mr. López Obrador told reporters about a call he had with Mr. Biden in which they both agreed that the border needed more security.
The number of refugees crossing through our country to get to the U.S. has gone up, he said, calling the situation “extraordinary.” He also said that Mexico was “going to help, as we always do.”
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As a way to keep refugees and asylum seekers from getting to the border, Mr. López Obrador said he and Mr. Biden both wanted to strengthen border barriers in southern Mexico.
He also said that trying to solve the political problems in the region and find solutions to the problems that lead people to migrate were important parts.
In November, more than 190,000 people were caught between ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said on Friday. According to the US government, between May and the end of November, they “removed or returned” more than 400,000 people.
For better border security and national security in the United States, Troy Miller, acting head of the border agency, said in a statement on Friday, “We are facing a serious challenge along the southwest border, and CBP and our federal partners need more resources from Congress—as outlined in the supplemental budget request.”