US President Joe Biden and his Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke on the phone about an ‘unprecedented’ influx of asylum seekers as well as supply chain issues that began following new border restrictions imposed in Texas.
During the virtual phone call between the two leaders of neighboring countries on Friday, which lasted nearly an hour, Biden underscored the importance of controlling the flow of illegal migrants heading to Mexico on their way to the United States. .
“Given the unprecedented flows of migrants from across the hemisphere to our two countries, the presidents reiterated the need to create stronger tools to manage regional migration surges,” the White House said in a statement amid preparations to revoke the restrictive policies imposed by the Trump administration.
The two presidents also discussed supply chain shortages triggered earlier this month after strict border measures were imposed on Mexican truckers by Texas Governor Greg Abbott (Republican), ordering that every commercial truck crossing the US-Mexico border in his state be thoroughly searched.
The inspections cause delays of several hours for trucks that threatened to damage the fresh produce they were transporting from Mexico to the United States.
“President Biden and President López Obrador discussed how our countries can continue to advance our common economic, climate, energy and migration management goals in accordance with the High-Level Economic Dialogue, with a focus on strengthening of North American supply chains,” according to the White House.
The United States and Mexico have already worked together to implement measures that would reduce the number of migrants at the border.
“The tone of the call was very constructive. It was not a call where President Biden threatened the Mexican president in any way,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, referring to Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump, who began an aggressive tightrope policy. with its neighbor to the south on illegal immigration.
In a tweet, Lopez Obrador called the call “cordial” and said Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard would visit Washington on Monday.
Tuvimos a cordial conversation with President Biden. Tratamos themes of interests in the bilateral relation and agreement with the secretary Marcelo Ebrard will visit Washington el lunes para avanzar in themes of cooperation for el desarrollo y sobre la Cumbre de las Américas. pic.twitter.com/IIWeLii7S7
— Andres Manuel (@lopezobrador_) April 29, 2022
Meanwhile, the Biden administration aims to lift a Trump-era border restriction that is expected to increase the rate of illegal immigration.
The COVID-related public health order known as Title 42, which allows deportation of asylum seekers, will be lifted on May 23.
Analysts say the move could spark a rush to the US-Mexico border. It has also heightened tensions over immigration ahead of the US midterm elections, which will decide whether Biden’s Democratic Party retains control of the House and Senate.
Meanwhile, a federal judge has temporarily blocked the lifting of Title 42.
Experts say the federal judge could issue a restraining order within the next two weeks, which could delay the suspension of the rule beyond the May 23 date scheduled by the Biden administration.