Shipping containers form the border wall
Shipping containers form the border wall on the frontier with Mexico in Cochise County. Photo by: Reuters/Stringer

Mexico has expressed its disapproval of the United States' plan to build additional sections of the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Prior to his meeting with U.S. officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday that building new sections of the wall would be a "step backwards," Reuters reported.

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration earlier said the country would extend the wall in Starr County, Texas, to fend off migrants crossing from Mexico. The additional sections would reportedly span 32 kilometers (about 20 miles).

Building a wall was a signature policy of former President Donald Trump, and it was opposed by many people during his term.

During the meeting, the officials vowed to enhance their collaboration to fight against organized crime and drug trafficking. Both countries also pledged to ensure that they would work to ease migratory pressures, which have surged in the last couple of weeks.

Alicia Barcena, Mexico's foreign minister, pointed out the Latin American country believes in building "bridges" and not "walls."

"I understand it's not going to be via walls, it'll be via technologies, it'll be via other kinds of installations," the foreign minister said. "I think this is what Secretary Mayorkas was kind enough to explain to us because obviously, we expressed our concern."

The creation of new wall segments could be a significant topic of discussion both in the U.S. and Mexico, considering the upcoming elections in these countries.

Blinken said after the meeting that he had an "extremely positive, productive conversation" with the Mexican president, adding that he was confident Mexico would help the U.S. with several other things like dealing with issues concerning fentanyl.

The idea of building a wall was first pitched during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign to ensure national security, curb illegal immigration and address drug trafficking issues. After the former president came into power in 2017, he directed the Department of Homeland Security DHS to start working on its construction.

Funding was a major issue at that time, and Trump's administration sought to reprogram existing funds from various federal agencies. He shifted allocated funds such as military construction projects and disaster relief toward building the wall.

The construction pushed through despite too many issues. However, Biden's administration stopped the wall's completion in 2021 after he took office.

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