The U.S. and Mexico are set to form a task force with countries from South America and Central America to discuss ways to stem the flow of migrants trekking through Mexico and toward the U.S., according to El Universal.
The agreement came out of a meeting between the U.S. secretary of state and the Mexican president Wednesday, at the same time as a caravan made up of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers was headed through Mexico toward the U.S. They are originally from a range of nations, and began near the border with Guatemala in southern Mexico.
The officials held the high-level meeting as immigration increasingly appears to be a political weakness for U.S. President Joe Biden ahead of the 2024 election, with Republicans in Congress pressing for stricter border measures in exchange for continued wartime aid to Ukraine and Israel. It’s unclear if any more concrete or monetary deals came out of the meeting.
US-Mexico immigration disputes in the spotlight
The hastily scheduled meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will test the relationship between the two countries on the migration issue, which is a “tail-eating serpent,” El País wrote. Mexico has historically done little to crack down on migrants passing through the country, while the U.S. is pressing Mexico to do more to stop them, as it sees a record number of detentions at the border: U.S. Border Patrol encountered more than 10,000 people making crossings some days this month. Mexico, meanwhile, wants the U.S. to send more aid to migrants’ home countries and reduce economic sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela.
Asylum seekers hope to achieve the ‘Mexican dream’
The migrant caravan is making headlines in U.S. media ahead of a presidential election where immigration and border security are hot button issues, but the caravan also hopes to get more attention and assistance from the Mexican government, one of the organizers told NBC News. Mexico too is facing a surge in irregular migration and has arrested a record number of undocumented immigrants this year, as conditions worsen in some parts of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Many of the asylum seekers are now trying to achieve the “Mexican dream,” La Razón de México wrote.