Mexico asked the US and Canada on Thursday to stop “rejecting migrants” because they need them to grow economically and proposed that these countries design a common economic strategy to reduce their dependence on imports from Asia.
This was stated by the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, during the IX Summit of North American Leaders, held at the White House.
“Why not study the demand for labor and open the migratory flow in an orderly manner?” Said López Obrador during his trilateral meeting with Biden and Trudeau, which closed a long day of meetings.
The Mexican president said that it is necessary to “stop rejecting migrants” because “to grow you need a workforce that is not sufficient in the United States or Canada.”
That message contrasted with that expressed by Biden during his speech shortly before: the US president said that the three countries must “manage the challenges of unprecedented migration” on the continent.
EMPHASIS ON MIGRATION
Biden assured that he wants to build a more humane immigration system, but his Government continues to deport most of the undocumented who arrive at its southern border without giving them the opportunity to request asylum, based on a measure known as “Title 42” and that his Government justifies. for the pandemic.
The White House increased its contacts with countries on the continent to try to contain the massive arrival of undocumented immigrants to its border with Mexico, and in September it had to manage a crisis due to the entry of thousands of Haitian immigrants, most of whom it deported to Haiti.
Despite sending that message to Biden about migratory flows, López Obrador thanked him that on his first day in power he proposed an immigration reform to regularize the 11 million undocumented people estimated to live in the United States, who in many cases are Mexican.
“No president in the history of the United States has manifested such a clear and unequivocal commitment to improving the situation of migrants,” López Obrador told Biden during the trilateral meeting.
The immigration reform bill proposed by Biden is stalled in Congress, and other initiatives by Democrats to regularize undocumented migrants within the social spending package debated by the legislature have not gone ahead for now.
López Obrador raised the issue both in the trilateral meeting and in the one-on-one meeting that he held alone with Biden and in another that he held earlier with the US Vice President, Kamala Harris, and said that Mexico “will know how to reciprocate with gratitude and friendship” if finally those undocumented are regularized.
The other issue that the Mexican president put on the table was his will to develop a “regional economic strategy” so that North America wins the pulse with China, and that in his opinion involves “producing” more in the region, in a context of the crisis in the supply chain and inflation.
“This involves jointly planning our development and promoting a productive investment program in North America for import substitution,” López Obrador stressed.
Neither Biden nor Trudeau responded to López Obrador’s proposal during the public portion of the meeting, but the three agreed on their willingness to strengthen economic and commercial ties on the basis of the T-MEC trilateral trade agreement.
The meeting came days after the United States finally opened the borders with Mexico and Canada to non-essential travel, after more than a year of closure due to the pandemic, but it did not all smile on the economic level.
Trudeau arrived at the summit concerned about a Biden plan to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles made in the US, including in a social spending bill pending approval in Congress, and the US president acknowledged that he is evaluating changes to satisfy Canada.
The day also included the first bilateral meeting in person so far between Biden and López Obrador, in which the US president assured the Mexican that both will relate as “equal countries.”
The Mexican leader responded by thanking him for not treating Mexico as a “backyard,” and celebrated his “respectful treatment.”
The trilateral summit, popularly known as the “three friends” and normally organized annually, was held for the first time since 2016, after four years of standstill during Donald Trump’s tenure.
The production of vaccines against covid-19 and the strategy against the climate crisis completed the meeting’s agenda, which closed without the traditional joint press conference, something that many journalists criticized and that the White House attributed to the tightness of the schedule.