President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador joined a bilateral meeting on Friday where the two leaders discussed efforts to limit “irregular” immigration at the southern border.
The meeting also addressed the visions of both the United States and Mexico to accelerate development and infrastructure projects along shared borders to strengthen North American supply chains and the cross-border agricultural and commercial activity, but the majority of the conversation was about illegal immigration.
“In view of the unprecedented flows of migrants from throughout the hemisphere to our two countries, the Presidents reiterated the need to build stronger tools for managing regional migration surges,” the White House said in a statement.
López Obrador described the call on Twitter as “cordial” and announced that Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard would visit Washington next week to discuss “issues of cooperation for development” and the Summit of the Americas.
The agenda also included talks on the end of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus restrictions on immigrants trying to seek asylum in the United States.
Mexican and U.S. officials, both Republicans and Democrats, have expressed concern the repeal of a Trump-era measure, known as Title 42, will encourage a surge in illegal immigration and more profits for criminal gangs unless Washington does more to help mitigate the impact.
Just days prior to the meeting, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt its efforts to end the public health order, which is currently scheduled to be terminated in late May.
The Biden administration has released a plan to deal with the expected surge in illegal immigration across the U.S.–Mexico border once the emergency Title 42 policy is terminated. Once Title 42 does end, immigration authorities will rely on a federal law called Title 8 that also enables expulsions, but not if an illegal immigrant claims asylum.
In a 20-page memorandum, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas outlined a series of “pillars” that officials are already putting into place.
In addition to deploying more resources such as agents to the border, the government said it is also “bolstering the capacity” of nongovernmental groups (NGOs) to receive illegal immigrants after they’re released by federal agents and disrupt criminal groups and smugglers who seek to smuggle people and/or drugs into the United States.
The memo is largely the same as a strategy detailed on March 30 and shows that the administration’s plan is “to facilitate the increased flow of people,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Epoch Times.
Biden has given way to a United Nations-style policy that focuses on the “safe, orderly, and humane” movement of anyone who wants to live in the United States.
The two leaders agreed on Friday to “enhance our collaboration to support just, humane and effective efforts” to limit “irregular” immigration and to advance the shared goal that countries throughout the region improve their ability to manage their borders in furtherance of humanitarian and security objectives, according to the statement.
The United States detained a record number of illegal aliens on its southwest border last month, with arrest numbers reaching the highest point in two decades, according to court filings by officials from the DHS.
U.S. border authorities encountered more than 220,000 illegal aliens attempting to cross the border with Mexico in March. The monthly total is a 24 percent increase from the same month a year earlier when nearly 170,000 illegal aliens were picked up at the border.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.