EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is in Mexico Monday to address immigration and public safety issues. The visit is part of a two-day trip to Latin America with stops in Mexico City and San Jose, Costa Rica, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico told media there.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed the visit at his daily news briefing broadcast on YouTube.
“We are meeting at noon,” Lopez Obrador said, adding he also met with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar over the weekend. “Relations are good with the United States.” The president and Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted photos of the meeting.
The embassy told Mexican media Mayorkas would discuss “a regional focus on stopping irregular migration and create viable legal avenues” to migration with Mexican officials. In Costa Rica on Tuesday, Mayorkas is to meet with regional government and international aid organizations also to talk about immigration. The latter is to follow up on administration’s efforts to address root causes of migration in the Northern Triangle of Central America.
The official Mexican Foreign Ministry account late on Monday said Ebrard and Mayorkas “coincided in the importance of going forward with a regional focus on migration, so as to have orderly, safe and (lawful) migration flows.”
Last week, BuzzFeed reported the Biden administration was planning to inform the government of Mexico it is planning to end in April a public health rule that has allowed U.S. immigration officials to immediately deport newly arrived migrants to prevent cross-border spread of COVID-19. The “heads up” on terminating Title 42 comes in the context that it could lead to a new increase of migrants coming to the U.S.-Mexico border that could strain resources, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Protection issued Title 42 during the Trump administration. Critics said Trump used or brought about the policy to deal with a major spike in unauthorized migration.
Apprehensions at the Southern border fell in late 2019 and early 2020 but spiked to historic levels last year. U.S. border agents encountered more than 2 million migrants in calendar year 2021.