Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Mr. Biden’s homeland security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall traveled to Mexico on Wednesday to meet with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as unauthorized crossings have strained federal and local resources in communities across the U.S.
Blinken “will discuss unprecedented irregular migration in the Western Hemisphere and identify ways Mexico and the United States will address border security challenges, including actions to enable the reopening of key ports of entry across our shared border,” the State Department said ahead of the visit.
The White House said last week thaton Thursday about “ongoing efforts to manage migratory flows in the Western Hemisphere.” The two leaders “agreed that additional enforcement actions are urgently needed so that key ports of entry can be reopened across our shared border,” the White House said.
The visit comes after Border Patrol processed nearly 50,000 migrants who entered the U.S. illegally in just five days last week. In November, Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 191,000 migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border unlawfully. This month, as many as 10,000 migrants were apprehended daily at the southern border.
Mexico’s president said last week he’s willing to help address the issue, but he wants the U.S. to provide more aid to the region and ease sanctions Cuba and Venezuela.
“We have always talked about addressing the causes [of migration]. The ideal thing is to help poor countries,” López Obrador said, according to the Associated Press.
In the U.S., Congress has debated border policy changes for weeks as part of a larger package including assistance to Ukraine and Israel. To convince Republicans — who want harsher border security measures — to support more foreign aid, Democrats are considering drastic limits on asylum and increased deportations.