MEXICO CITY — Vice President Kamala Harris met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Tuesday, capping her first overseas journey with a dialogue on financial cooperation, in addition to joint efforts to fight human trafficking and handle migration to their shared border.
Mr. López Obrador “and I spent a significant amount of time together one on one,” and had “very directed candid conversations as well as a very productive bilateral meeting,” Ms. Harris mentioned afterward, noting that they mentioned the pandemic, vaccines, migration and border safety.
According to an announcement from Symone Sanders, a prime adviser and spokeswoman for Ms. Harris, the Biden administration would situation loans for reasonably priced housing, efforts to develop cacao and low and infrastructure venture improvement.
The U.S. may even make investments $130 million over three years to assist labor protections for Mexican staff and also will present forensic coaching to Mexican officers in search of to seek out tens of hundreds of lacking individuals.
“The two leaders also agreed to increase cooperation to further secure our borders and ensure orderly immigration,” Ms. Sanders mentioned.
Ms. Harris and Mr. López Obrador signed an settlement in Mexico’s nationwide palace reiterating their governments’ dedication to discourage migration north by addressing its root causes: poverty, persecution and corruption in Central America.
The assembly concludes a high-stakes go to for Ms. Harris to Mexico and Guatemala, the place she was on Monday. She has been tapped by President Biden to be the administration’s emissary for considered one of its extra advanced and politically unstable points: bettering situations in Central America and deterring migration to the U.S.-Mexico border.
For weeks, Ms. Harris has confronted criticism from Republicans for not visiting the United States’ southwest border, the place an growing variety of lone migrant youngsters and youngsters are arriving, and she or he has additionally tried to handle the expectations of Democrats for Mr. Biden to meet his marketing campaign promise of taking a compassionate method to asylum-seekers on the border.
The journey has proven that her method within the short-term prioritizes a average method to migration and projecting a notion that the border is underneath management, even when it means turning away the very asylum-seekers she has mentioned the United States is dedicated to serving to in the long run.
On Monday, Ms. Harris sparked criticism from immigration advocates and Democrats when she delivered a blunt message to potential migrants.
“I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come,” Ms. Harris mentioned in Guatemala City, standing ft away from the Guatemalan president, Alejandro Giammattei.
“This is disappointing to see,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, mentioned on Twitter. “First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival.”
The Biden administration has continued to embrace an emergency rule put in place underneath the presidency of Donald J. Trump after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The rule empowered border brokers to quickly flip away migrants with out offering them an opportunity to use for asylum, justifying the expulsions as essential to cease the virus from spreading.
Under U.S. immigration legislation, migrants are entitled to ask for cover as soon as they step on American soil. The continued use of the rule, often called Title 42, has prompted criticism from immigration attorneys, former officers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the administration’s personal medical consultants.