- Mexico and the United States discussed migration and regional development issues during a series of high-level meetings
- The number of migrant families and unaccompanied minors who have arrived at the US border is concerning for both countries
- The intention of the meeting was that the migratory flows in the region are orderly, safe and regular ”
Mexico and the United States agreed on Tuesday to seek “orderly, safe and regular migration” amid a growing flow of Central Americans, political pressure in Washington and the Mexican claim for the COVID-19 vaccine, the Efe news agency reported.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and former United States Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson, currently the White House’s main advisor on border matters, led a private meeting in Mexico City to address migratory transit from Central America, particularly from Unaccompanied minors.
Migration from Mexico and the US raises concerns in both countries
The government of President Joe Biden is concerned about the number of migrant families and unaccompanied minors who have arrived at the US-Mexico border in recent months, he said. The Associated Press.
The new United States government has begun to dismantle the Trump-era policies that made the asylum process difficult, but they have kept some measures in place, such as a policy related to the pandemic that allows the United States to return to Mexico the majority of migrants who cross the border illegally.
“Orderly, safe and regular migration”
“The objective of the meetings was to advance both the international cooperation agenda for development and mechanisms for migratory cooperation, so that migratory flows in the region are orderly, safe and regular,” reported the Ministry of Foreign Relations ( SRE).
The special delegation from the United States included the person in charge of Latin America and the Caribbean of the National Security Council (NSC, in English), Juan Gonzalez, and the special envoy for the Northern Triangle of Central America, Ricardo Zuñiga.
Migration between Mexico and the United States as a result of the Northern Triangle
The countries of the so-called Northern Triangle: Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, have been the main source of migrants arriving at the southern border of the United States in recent years. Besieged by entrenched corruption and violence, and recently by the devastation caused by two major hurricanes last November, as well as the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, migrants continue to leave those countries in large numbers.
Confusion and misinformation about Biden’s seemingly more humane stance towards immigrants and asylum seekers have been contributing factors to the surge in migration flow. Many migrants who saw a change in attitude toward Trump’s tough policies set out on the journey in the early months of the year to try their luck.
The two delegations discussed “humanitarian actions to promote, in the short term, inclusive economic development in northern Central America,” the Mexican government reported in a statement. Ebrard emphasized shortly thereafter the shared development objective in the region to address migration.
“If we persevere and act together, we told them, we can ensure that these countries and southern Mexico have another future, have other possibilities,” said the foreign minister. “That no one has to emigrate due to poverty, insecurity, despair.” Although Mexico’s public statement did not mention arrests, the National Migration Institute (INM) announced this Tuesday “a common front” on the southern border of the country, which includes the Armed Forces and the National Guard.
More than 31 thousand people arrested so far this year
The INM reported the arrest of 31,492 “irregular persons” so far this year, an increase of about 18% compared to the same period in 2020. In the United States, the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) detained 100,441 undocumented persons. in February, compared to 78,442 in January, an upward trend although not yet reaching May 2019, when the CBP apprehended 132,856 people and then-US President Donald Trump threatened Mexico with the imposition of tariffs .
“We are applying the law of controlled, safe and containment migration, because adults are using children as a migrant passport to transit in our country to the United States,” said Francisco Garduño, head of the INM.
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