President Joe Biden at the White House
President Joe Biden participates in a phone call with European leaders Emmanuel Macron of France, Giorgia Meloni of Italy, Olaf Scholz of Germany and UK's Rishi Sunak in the Oval Office of the White House. Flicker/Official White House Photo

President Joe Biden talked to his Mexican counterpart, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, over the phone on Thursday, and they both agreed to take additional enforcement actions at their shared border to manage the movement of migrants who are crossing.

During the said phone call, Biden and López Obrador discussed the "ongoing efforts to manage migratory flows in the Western Hemisphere, building on the Los Angeles Declaration for Migration and Protection that President Biden launched in Los Angeles in June 2022," as per the official White House statement.

The leaders then came to an agreement that "additional enforcement actions are urgently needed so that key ports of entry can be reopened across our shared border."

To address the same issue, Biden has asked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State Alejandro Mayorkas and White House Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to visit Mexico in the coming days and meet with López Obrador in person to further discuss and take the actions needed from both ends of the border.

The phone call between Biden and López Obrador took place a day after more than 40 major U.S. agricultural groups asked the government to reopen the two rail crossings on the Texas-Mexico border, which was shut due to increased migrant crossings.

The groups, which are producers of soybean, corn and rice, noted that the Union Pacific Railway eliminates a $200 million loss daily, while almost 1 million bushels of grain exports are potentially lost along with the export potential for many other agricultural products each day the crossings are closed.

According to the groups, El Paso and Eagle Pass international rail crossings are used to export nearly two-thirds of all U.S. agricultural to Mexico. They added that it was the second-largest export market in 2022 with $28.5 billion in sales.

Customs and Border Protection suspended the two rail operations on Dec. 17 in the wake of a continued surge in migrant smuggling via freight trains. This action was taken in collaboration with Mexican authorities.

Migrant smuggling has been a big problem for both countries. Federal forces in Mexico rescued seven immigration agents, who were been abducted, beaten up and threatened to be killed by suspected drug cartel gunmen last month.

Furthermore, Mexico's immigration agency revealed that 123 Central and South American migrants, including 34 children, were rescued from a locked trailer. They were rescued after a resident in the area heard them crying out for help.

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