Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Blinken in Mexico to try to find a way out of the problem head of l’immigration

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In recent weeks, some 10,000 people a day have tried to cross illegally the southern border.

Agence France-Presse

The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken left for Mexico on Wednesday to try to find solutions to a new influx of migrants at the border, the subject of a burning political debate in the United States.

On the eve of an election year, this rare trip during the holidays comes at a time when Republican elected officials in Congress are demanding an agreement on immigration with the Biden government in exchange for their support for a new aid package for Ukraine.

In recent weeks, some 10,000 people per day have attempted to cross the southern border of the United States illegally, nearly double the numbers recorded before the pandemic. And a caravan of thousands of migrants left southern Mexico on Sunday to try to reach the United States.

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The migrant caravan began its journey to northern Mexico days before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in Mexico City to discuss new agreements to control the influx of migrants seeking to enter the United States. /p>

Overwhelmed by the influx, American authorities have had to close border posts to deal with migrants attempting illegal crossings.

On Thursday, two migrants drowned on the Mexican side of the border near the city of Matamoros, where they were trying to cross into the United States in an attempt to escape Mexican migration surveillance, ;after images that AFP obtained.

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During his whirlwind visit, Antony Blinken is scheduled to meet Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The Secretary of State will be accompanied by the Minister of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, responsible in particular for border police, and the Homeland Security Advisor, Liz Sherwood-Randall.

President Lopez Obrador, who spoke by telephone with Joe Biden on Thursday, December 21, pledged to strengthen measures to restrain migrants in the south of the country, on the border with Guatemala.

We help a lot. We will continue to do it and we want to agree because given that there are also elections in the United States, the subject will animate minds.

A quote from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

The Mexican president made the statement on Wednesday before his meeting with Blinken.

The US delegation is to discuss with Lopez Obrador the urgent need for legal [immigration] pathways and increased enforcement actions, according to the spokesperson for the US State Department Matthew Miller.

Mexico, after agreements with Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump, welcomes on its soil migrants seeking to enter the United States.

The former Republican president, who is preparing to face Joe Biden at the polls in November 2024, recently redoubled his attacks against migrants, accusing them of x27;poison the blood of the United States, comments that echo Nazi rhetoric.

In this tense political context, Democrats are trying to find an agreement on immigration with Republicans in Congress in order to simultaneously approve spending of $61 billion to help Kiev in its war with Moscow.

The White House has warned that it will run out of resources for Ukraine by the end of the year .

In the negotiations, the Biden administration notably proposed funding 1,300 additional border police positions.

Washington will undoubtedly ask Mexico to still keep migrants on its soil, for example by giving them work permits, estimates Andrew Rudman, researcher specializing in Mexico at the Wilson Center think tank in Washington.

The Biden administration is seeking to show, for domestic political reasons, that it is doing everything possible on this issue, he explains.

But one of the challenges is that everyone wants a solution right away to a global problem that has existed for a long time. However, there is no magic wand.

Most of these people emigrate because they have made a rational decision : their life will be better in the United States, he adds.

The majority of them are fleeing Central American countries ravaged by poverty, violence and natural disasters.

In recent months, a rise in the number of migrants from Haiti, devastated by gang violence, and Venezuela, fled by more than 7 million people according to the UN since the collapse of its economy, has been noted.

Meet Tuesday by AFP in Comaltitlan , in the caravan that left southern Mexico, María Alicia Ulloa says she left Honduras to offer a better life to [her] children.

If she were to be blocked on her way, she would return to her country, where there is crime and little work, she confided from the side of the road, backpack on her shoulders.

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