Lopez Obrador to hold phone call with Biden to discuss immigration, fentanyl crisis
Lopez Obrador is asking the Biden administration to do more in order to address the immigration challenges, including to quickly process visa applications
May 9, 2023 1:32pm
Updated: May 9, 2023 1:32pm
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday that he plans to talk with U.S. President Joe Biden by Telephone on Tuesday to discuss the immigration and fentanyl crisis affecting both countries.
Lopez Obrador said that one of the main purposes of the video phone call was to discuss development programs to help curb the flow of migrants to the border.
The planned conversation comes two days before the pandemic-era immigration policy Title 42 comes to an end. Under Title 42, border officials are allowed to quickly expel migrants who arrive at the southern border without heading their asylum cases. Once the immigration policy comes to an end, U.S. authorities are expecting a surge in migrant crossings, reaching up to 13,000 migrants a day.
Last week, the Biden administration announced it reached an agreement with the Mexican government to address the "humanitarian situation caused by unprecedented migration flows."
According to the new agreement, Mexico will continue to accept migrants coming from four countries—Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela—after they are sent back from the United States. Additionally, Mexico agreed to receive up to 10,000 individuals from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Lopez Obrador is asking the Biden administration to do more in order to address the immigration challenges, including to quickly process visa applications.
"We're making the respectful suggestion ... that they don't take too long to give out permits," Lopez Obrador said.
The Mexican president also urged migrants not to use smugglers to attemp to cross the border between the two countries, adding that such an action brought several dangers to their wellbeing.
“Don’t allow yourselves to be fooled,” López Obrador said during his morning news briefing. “Don’t allow yourselves to be blackmailed by coyotes, smugglers, who put you at risk.”
The two presidents will also discuss the crisis caused by the synthetic opioid fentanyl. The drug, which is mostly smuggled into the U.S. through Mexico, has caused more than 70,000 overdose deaths a year, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Lopez Obrador has denied claims that the dangerous drug is being produced in Mexico. Instead, he says that the chemicals and final products are being smuggled in from China—a claim China denies.