Saturday, February 24, 2024

Talks between the US and Mexico on migration continue in Washington

Senior US and Mexican officials are meeting Friday in Washington to discuss strengthening cooperation to address the large number of migrants who are trying to enter the United States through Mexico.

“Since our last meeting, I believe that an important event has happened: the inauguration of President Arévalo of Guatemala said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the start of the meeting.

“This,” he added, “opens an important new area for a quiet migration operation between our three countries, and we will continue to work more broadly to develop regional solutions to the historic challenge we face.”

Guatemala’s new president, Bernardo Arévalo, says he wants to work with the United States to expand temporary work programs for immigrants there while increasing investment in the poorest areas of the country. to prevent them from leaving.

No major announcement is expected to be made after Friday’s compromise, which Biden administration officials said continued progress made at a Dec. 27 meeting in Mexico City.

“Sustainable solutions”

US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and White House National Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall also attended the meeting, with Mexican Foreign Secretary Alicia Bárcena leading the visiting delegation.

“We will focus on implementing sustainable solutions that address the root causes of migration,” a spokesperson for the US State Department said in a call to reporters on Thursday.

The Mexican government has asked Washington to increase investment in development in Central America to reduce migration, increase the number of temporary worker visas and other legal forms of immigration, and increase trips to repatriation for people who came to the United States illegally as an element of immigration control. , especially from Venezuela.

The United States continued repatriation flights to Venezuela, and Mexico did the same, starting in December, the latest move by countries in the region to address the exodus of people to the US border.

“We encourage other countries to join us. We also applaud the steps taken by Mexico, Panama, and other countries to prevent irregular migration and impose new visa controls,” a White House National Security Council official said in a statement to reporters on Thursday.

In May 2023, Mexico agreed to accept migrants from countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba who were removed from the US border for crossing the United States without permission and did not follow the established legal channels to obtain asylum or other forms of migration.

Venezuela is in the midst of a political and economic crisis, and 7 million Venezuelans have left their country of origin, according to the United Nations.

Authorities detain thousands of people every day

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported 242,418 migrant encounters at the southern border in November, on par with October’s total of 240,986. In 2022, meetings totaled 235,173 in November and 231,529 in October.

Figures for December have not been released, but federal border officials reported a record 11,000 apprehensions per day at the southern border in December.

“This coincides with a time when Mexican law enforcement is no longer in effect. Mexico’s immigration enforcement agency is underfunded, leading President Biden to reconnect on January 10 with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, “Secretary of National Security Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters.

Border skirmishes have decreased significantly at the start of the new year when law enforcement continues in Mexico.

In Thursday’s call, U.S. officials said it’s typically the time of year when border skirmishes decrease.

“But we believe that the actions taken by the Mexican government will also have an impact,” the DHS official said.

The migratory wave has become a liability

The wave of migration has become a political liability for US President Joe Biden since the November election. He has come under intense pressure from Republicans and some members of his party to limit border crossings, in part to relieve pressure on American cities struggling to house and feed everyone. newcomers.

House Republicans have linked their demands for stricter border policies—their current top priority in the House—to the White House’s request for billions of dollars in funding to support Ukraine and Israel.

“We understand there is concern about the security and sovereignty of Ukraine,” Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson told reporters after he and other congressional leaders met with Biden this week. “But the American people have the same concerns about our domestic sovereignty and our security.”

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner who is likely to run against Biden in November’s election, has unleashed increasingly anti-immigrant rhetoric on the campaign trail, saying that migrants who cross the border “poison the blood of our country.”.

A Department of Homeland Security official said during Thursday’s call that the United States and Mexico understand there are more displaced people around the world today than at any time since World War II.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says that at least 108.4 million people worldwide will be forcibly displaced by the end of 2022 due to “persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, or events of serious disturbing public order.”

That number “includes records of people lost in our hemisphere,” the DHS official said in the phone call.

“This is a challenge for us,” the official said. “And it’s also a challenge for our Mexican counterparts. We look forward to continuing our robust conversations with them about how we can work together to address what is not just a US or Mexican challenge, but a real challenge in the region.”

World Nation News Desk
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