The president of United States, Joe Bidenwill meet this Monday with his Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to discuss the incessant undocumented migration and fentanyl trafficking, two crises with no solution in the short term. The leaders will meet during the afternoon at the presidential palace in Mexico City, one day before holding the North American Summit together with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
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At the center will be the migration of undocumented people to USAa continental problem and hot potato for Biden, reflected in 2.3 million arrests and expulsions of migrants in fiscal year 2022, five times more than in 2020.
LOOK: Joe Biden Arrived in Mexico for North American Summit
“Let (Biden) put his hand on his heart (…), there are many children who separate them from their families”exclaimed on Sunday in Ciudad Juárez the Venezuelan José David Meléndez, 25, expelled just as the president was visiting neighboring El Paso, Texas.
Biden made a stop in that city before flying to Mexico for his first official visit.in an attempt to appease criticism for not having visited the convulsed 3,100 km border in two years of government.
“Our border communities represent the best of our nation’s bounty, and we will garner them more support as we expand legal pathways for orderly migration and limit illegal immigration,” the president wrote on Twitter before arriving in Texas.
Restrictions cause thousands to remain stranded in Mexicoespecially for the Title 42an anticovid measure that authorizes the express expulsion of undocumented immigrants.
Biden arrived in Mexico with a limited migration program for Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela – plunged into deep crisis -, which will admit 30,000 people monthly for two years.
Organizations such as the International Rescue Committee warn that partial measures “will only push asylum seekers into dangerous situations”, such as kidnappings by human traffickers.
The immigration issue has become a “political vulnerability” for Biden along with the flood of fentanyl from violent Mexican cartels, Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue analysis center, told AFP.
“The (US) president is expected to push for further cooperation” on both fronts and AMLO (as the Mexican president is known by his initials) demand something in return, possibly “less pressure” on trade issues, Shifter added.
Washington and Canada are in dispute with Mexico within the framework of the USMCA trade agreement over an energy reform that expanded state participation in the sector.
The fentanylsynthetic drug 50 times more powerful than heroin, made with precursors trafficked from China, will mark the discussions on security.
Nearly two-thirds of the 108,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2021 involved synthetic opioids. And just in 2022, more fentanyl was seized than would be needed to kill the entire population of the United States, according to the US drug enforcement agency (DEA).
Thus, Biden seeks to “expand the exchange of information” with Mexico on precursors and “strengthen prevention”, said the head of US diplomacy for Latin America, Brian Nichols.
The president’s entourage also includes the Secretaries of State, Antony Blinken; of National Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, and of Justice, Merrick Garland.
In 2021, both countries announced a shift in their anti-drug policy, after 15 years of a predominantly military strategy. Since its launch in 2006, Mexico has accumulated some 340,000 murders and thousands of disappearances, without the cartels having weakened.
AMLO promotes a policy of “hugs, not bullets” which proposes increasing social investment in areas where cartels operate to attack the causes of drug trafficking.
But it maintains operations like the one that led to the capture, last Thursday in culiacanof Ovid Guzman, son of Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán, sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States. That operation left 29 dead.
According to Garland’s office, During the visit, arms trafficking will also be addressed, at a time when Mexico is promoting two lawsuits against US manufacturers.
With the presence of the special envoy for climate, John Kerry, global warming will also be on the agenda.
At COP27, the two governments announced a joint renewable energy project involving 48 billion dollars of investment, in which Mexico committed to expanding its greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2030.
As part of that strategy, Mexico drives the sound planwhich includes the exploitation of lithium -a key mineral for new technologies and electric cars-, the production of these vehicles through the relocation of assembly plants- and the construction of six solar power plants.
It also plans to link the plan with the semiconductor cluster being built in the state of Arizona (on the border with Sonora), as part of Washington’s strategy to reduce its dependence on Asia in the manufacture of these components.
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.