Mexico says it shares Biden's focus on tackling migration's root causes

MEXICO CITY – The Mexican State Department announced on Wednesday that US President-elect Joe Biden’s team shares its vision of international aid and economic development for Central America to achieve orderly and safe migration.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and Jake Sullivan, Biden’s election as national security advisor, agreed during a video meeting that both governments will prioritize the structural causes of migration, the Mexican statement said.

Sullivan discussed border issues with Ebrard, said a Biden aide. Democrat Biden, who will take office on Jan. 20, has promised voters a more humane and multilateral approach to immigration policy than Republican President Donald Trump, who has taken a tougher line than previous administrations.

“Paying attention to the structural causes of migration is a priority shared by the Mexican government and the next government …” the ministry said in the statement.

“The vision focuses on protecting the human rights of migrants and refugees, as well as a regional response that focuses on economic development.”

On December 19, Biden’s team said that he and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had made a phone call to vow to develop a “new approach” to migration issues that “offers alternatives to the dangerous journey to the United States”.

Border arrests reached their highest level in nearly two years in December, driven by coronavirus lockdowns and devastating hurricanes in Central America.

Mexican officials have signaled they will not loosen tough enforcement measures to stop migrant caravans en route to the US border. Such a caravan is due to leave Honduras next week.

According to two Biden helpers, the latest call should initiate efforts to build a common migration policy shortly after the day of inauguration.

Relations between the US and Mexico have been frayed for the past four years amid Trump’s calls for the Mexican government to do more to reduce the flow of migrants into the US.

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