Monday , March 27 2023

After a rough start, Biden and López Obrador of Mexico agree on migration.

MEXICO CITY — Although Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was one of the last world leaders to congratulate Vice President Joe Biden upon his inauguration, two days of talks have resulted in a reversal of the relationship that was initially fraught.

Concerning fentanyl prohibition, economic integration, and migration, the leaders came to a consensus. López Obrador, who is known to be stubborn, ended their meetings with nothing but praise for Biden, particularly in regard to issues pertaining to migration across the border that separates their countries.

“You are the first American president in a very long time to not have constructed even a single meter of wall. At the conclusion of the North American Leaders’ Summit, López Obrador said, “We thank you for that, sir,” describing Biden as “a man with conviction.”

According to Rafael Fernández de Castro, director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego, “it was a significant shift in tone.”

“From being kind of distant two years ago, with AMLO taking a long time to recognize Biden and congratulate him, to now that he fully embraced him in a very cordial and political way,” Fernández de Castro stated. “The personal relationship of Biden and López Obrador is going full circle.”

The thaw comes after Biden announced a new program before his trip that will allow up to 30,000 migrants from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Haiti to temporarily live and work in the United States if they, among other things, apply for asylum elsewhere.

López Obrador praised the program and urged Biden to collaborate with Congress to create a path to citizenship for Mexican immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for years.

On this trip, Biden has made up for lost face time with López Obrador.

López Obrador decided not to attend a significant regional summit that Vice President Biden hosted in Los Angeles last summer. During a summertime meeting in the Oval Office, the leftist leader discussed politically contentious topics like gasoline prices in the United States.

While Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has collaborated with Biden on issues at the G-7 and G-20 and joined the leaders in Mexico City, Biden has spent far less time with López Obrador than he has with López Obrador.

During this trip, the White House took great care to accommodate one of López Obrador’s domestic political issues by landing Air Force One at Felipe ngeles International Airport rather than Benito Juárez International Airport, which is more convenient and central.

Biden was greeted by López Obrador on the runway.

According to Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, Biden “had the opportunity to ride with President López Obrador from the airport back into town, which gave them the chance to just have a one-on-one chat on kind of how they’re seeing the world right now, what’s on their minds.” He stated, “I think they both got a lot out of it.”

Their meetings in Mexico City got off to a bad start.

On Monday, Biden’s talks got off to a rocky start when what were supposed to be brief opening greetings turned into a contentious discussion about the history of U.S. support for Latin America.

López Obrador stated to Biden that since President John F. Kennedy’s spending on the “Alliance for Progress” program in the early 1960s, the United States had done little to support development in Latin America.

According to López Obrador, “this has been the only important thing, really, that has been done in terms of cooperation for development in our continent in more than 50 years.”

He stated, “This is the moment for us to decide to eliminate this abandonment, disdain, and forgetfulness for Latin America and the Caribbean.”

That was criticized by Biden, who pointed out that over the past 15 years, the United States government has spent “tens of billions of dollars in the hemisphere.” Biden stated to López Obrador that “the United States provides more foreign aid than any other country, just about combined, in the world — to not just the hemisphere, but around the world.”

“Unfortunately, the Western hemisphere is not the end of our response: It’s in the heart of Europe. Asia has it. In the Middle East, it is. He stated, “It’s in Africa.” I wish we could concentrate only on one thing.

The meetings were overshadowed by Trump’s presence.

Due to disagreements over migration and trade, former President Donald Trump largely abandoned regular summits with Canada and Mexico.

Biden said at the summit’s conclusion that the hemisphere’s migration levels were “unprecedented” and that he had stopped in El Paso, Texas, a city that has had problems with a lot of migrants.

In reference to Trump’s signature border wall project, Biden stated, “We cannot wall ourselves off from shared problems.”

Trudeau of Canada also mentioned Trump’s trade and tariff policies without naming him.

Trudeau stated, “People remember what happened just a few years ago when this partnership’s certainty was in question.” “Free and fair trade won,” he stated, pointing out that “investors, businesses, workers, and citizens all worried about what would happen.”

In the face of global uncertainty, a rise in authoritarian leaders, and an increase in the cost of living, Trudeau stated that it was essential for the three nations to collaborate on the economy.

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