The Biden administration is increasingly leaning on Mexico to curb the record flow of migrants crossing into the U.S., but Mexico has its own lists of ambitious asks for the U.S., say officials from both governments familiar with the discussions.
Previous measures taken by the Biden administration to stem the migrant surge have led to only temporary dips in the numbers, and in late December, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken went to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to ask for greater assistance. Those conversations were “preliminary,” the officials said, and did not result in hard promises from either side.
In a press conference on Friday, López Obrador called on the U.S. to approve a plan that would deploy $20 billion to Latin American and Caribbean countries, suspend the U.S. blockade of Cuba, remove all sanctions against Venezuela and grant at least 10 million Hispanics living in the U.S. the right to remain and work legally.
All of those are extremely tall demands of an administration headed into a re-election campaign that may hinge on how firmly Biden is able to get control of the southern U.S. border, which saw a record 300,000 migrants processed by Customs and Border Protection in December.
Responding to those requests, a senior Biden administration official told NBC News that AMLO, as López Obrador is commonly called, “has a very ambitious agenda. For some of these things, we would need Congress to act. We share the vision that we need to lift up the region.”
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