Harris to discuss migration with Mexican President ahead of his Biden visit
Bloomberg July 11, 2022
U.S. Vice President Harris will discuss migration and development assistance with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ahead of his visit with President Biden at the White House.
Harris will outline the administration’s efforts to address the root causes of migration from Central America and advance cooperation on development assistance over breakfast Tuesday with López Obrador at the Naval Observatory, a White House official said.
The Biden administration continues to grapple with historic numbers of migrants arriving at the southern U.S. border, even as it struggles to address problems like inflation and high gas prices that have Democrats facing the possibility of major losses in the November midterm elections.
The U.S. saw the largest monthly number of encounters with migrants in more than two decades in May, with agents stopping border crossers more than 239,000 times, according to Customs and Border Protection data.
AMLO, as the Mexican president is known, is set to meet later Tuesday with Biden after snubbing his invitation to last month’s Summit of the Americas, citing the U.S.’s decision not to invite the leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela due to human-rights concerns. The snub cast a shadow over the summit and exposed growing rifts over U.S. influence in the region.
Yet several nations, including Mexico, signed a U.S.-backed migration pact that encourages governments to do more to crack down on human trafficking and welcome people fleeing poverty, violence and persecution.
Biden assigned Harris last year to lead the administration’s efforts to address the causes of migration from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where the bulk of migrants to the U.S. have hailed over the past decade.
She announced at the summit that private-sector commitments on economic development projects in those countries now total $3.2 billion.
Harris has met twice in person with AMLO, most recently in November in Washington. They have also had four phone calls or virtual meetings prior to Tuesday’s visit.