AMLO and Biden
The U.S. and Mexico's presidents held a new call to discuss migration efforts Reuters

The presidents of the United States and Mexico, Joe Biden and Andrés Manuel López Obrador (commonly known as AMLO) spoke on Sunday to continue coordinating efforts on migration policy, the latter confirmed on Monday.

Speaking at his routine morning press conference, AMLO said the call took place at Biden's request and that it focused on "effectively managing" migration and "strengthening operational efficiency" on the countries' shared border.

"We talk periodically," López Obrador said, according to The Associated Press. "I seek him out, he seeks me out, we chat."

AMLO went on to say that the countries have made progress in their efforts to stem unauthorized migration. A joint statement by the administrations added that the presidents directed their respective national security aides to "immediately" put in place additional measures to reduce the amount of crossings, although it didn't clarify what the measures were.

Border crossings have substantially decreased over the past weeks, with many analysts crediting Mexican law enforcement for a key role in stemming the flows.

Border Patrol agents encountered over 137,000 people crossing the border unlawfully during March. Even though it was a slight dip compared to February's 141,000, the figure becomes more significant as seasonal trends pointed at a surge during the period.

A recent report by AP highlighted that Venezuelan migrants attempting to reach the U.S. are increasingly getting stuck in Mexico unable to continue their journey and with no perspective to do so in the near future.

Efforts by the AMLO administration have been aimed at keeping migrants closer to its southern border, which it shares with Guatemala. They include forcing people from trains and flying and busing them back south. Some have even been flown to Venezuela.

The government has also implemented policies including tightening visa rules, deploying the military to stem the flow of migrants and setting up checkpoints.

However, a new report by the Financial Times also shows a more nuanced picture on the ground, with contrasting cases depending on the officials' individual behavior.

Migrants interviewed by the outlets recalled occasions when authorities force them to go back to the southern region of the country, forcing them to start that part of their journeys again; others when they ask for bribes to let them continue walking and some times when they offered them bus rides to cities further north, closer to the U.S. border.

Moreover, many migrants who were apprehended have also been swiftly released because of their legal protection and the lack of resources to deal with the ever-increasing number of people crossing through the country.

Official figures show that "of a record near 120,000 migrant detentions in Mexico in January, just 3,000 were moved to another country." The number could be somewhat higher as Guatemalan migrants are also subjected to rapid removal but this is not published in the official statistics.

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