AMLO and Biden
U.S. President Biden meets with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the White House in Washington Reuters

Mexico is seeking an agreement with president Joe Biden for the United States to deport asylum-seekers and migrants to their countries of origin rather than Mexico, president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (commonly known as AMLO) said on Wednesday.

The outgoing Mexican leader said he was ready to work with U.S. authorities on the policy in a meeting scheduled for this Friday following President Joe Biden's announcement Tuesday of executive actions aimed at reducing the flow of migrants to the U.S.

Biden's new measure would prohibit people who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally from seeking asylum during periods when daily illegal crossings surpass 2.500 unless they meet certain exceptions. If rejected, the new policy would require asylum seekers to be returned to Mexico.

"We are seeking an agreement that if they (the U.S.) make the decision to deport, they do so directly," AMLO said at a press conference Wednesday when asked if Biden's plan could lead to a potential increase in migrants on the Mexican side of the border.

López Obrador said that he had a phone call on Tuesday with Biden on the issue, which the Mexican president described as "very respectful".

"Things are going well," he added, referring to negotiations over Biden's new policy and the deportation of asylum seekers directly to their home countries. He anticipated that there will be a meeting in Washington on Friday to continue discussing the issue.

The Mexican president also said he was not concerned about Mexican border towns being overwhelmed by asylum seekers turned away by the U.S. "They come to Mexico. We have no problem. We treat them all very well (...) but why not have a direct agreement?" he said.

The Department of Homeland Security deals with 4,000 asylum-seekers on a daily basis, but with Biden's executive order, the southern U.S. border will temporarily shut down requests when the number of daily claimants rises above 2,500.

The government will discontinue this restriction after the daily average of migrants crossing the border falls below 1,500 for a week.

While critics say Biden's immigration plan does not go far enough to respond to the numbers of people showing up at the U.S. southern border, others warn of the human rights violations that this measure carries for vulnerable people seeking asylum.

Tonatiuh Guillén, a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and former commissioner of Mexico's National Migration Institute, told CNN that in practice, the new rule would be a "closing of the border" to the thousands of refugees who are in Mexico waiting to reach the United States.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.