President Joe Biden spoke on the phone Tuesday with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico, days before an expected migrant surge is set to hit the southern border in the aftermath of Title 42’s expiration Thursday.
Biden and Lopez Obrador discussed strengthening the U.S.-Mexican bilateral relationship, fentanyl and arms trafficking, and the need to cooperate “to manage unprecedented migration in the region.”
The two leaders pointed to the need for “close coordination between border authorities and strong enforcement measures” in preparation of the surge, according to a White House readout of the call. (RELATED: Federal Authorities Move To Clear Dem-Run City’s Streets Of Migrants Amid Surge In Illegal Immigration)
They also stressed the “value of managing migration in a humane and orderly fashion” and their commitment to addressing the root causes of migration from Central America, the statement read.
Lopez Obrador said the two leaders spoke for about an hour and reaffirmed their “commitment to continue working together on issues such as migration with a humanist dimension, drug and arms trafficking and, above all, cooperation for the well-being of the poorest peoples of our continent.”
“We are good neighbors and friends,” he added.
Conversamos alrededor de una hora con el presidente Biden. Reafirmamos el compromiso de seguir trabajando juntos en temas como la migración con dimensión humanista, el tráfico de drogas y armas y, sobre todo, en cooperación para el bienestar de los pueblos más pobres de nuestro… pic.twitter.com/oVbyJY06wJ
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) May 9, 2023
The Biden administration has been preparing for the expiration of the Trump-era COVID-19 policy by ordering the deployment of 1,5000 troops to the border and requesting more than $50 million. The Biden administration has experienced a record-breaking number of migrant encounters and DHS officials have expressed concern about what’s to come after Thursday. (RELATED: Here’s How Many Migrants Have Crossed The Southern Border Under Biden — That We Know Of)
In January, the U.S. and Mexico unveiled a joint initiative combining expanded legal pathways with consequences for irregular migration. The initiative has “achieved a 95 percent drop in border encounters of individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela at our shared border,” the Biden administration said.
The two leaders affirmed that they will be continuing with the joint initiative after Title 42 expires.