Biden arrives in Mexico for a summit of North American leaders to discuss immigration and the fight against drugs
US President Joe Biden arrived in Mexico City on Sunday ahead of an upcoming summit of North American leaders that will bring him together with his Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canada’s Justin Trudeau on Tuesday to discuss issues of illegal immigration, the… drug trafficking and climate change. Prior to his arrival, Biden traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border for the first time since assuming the presidency to visit El Paso, the transit point in Texas at the center of controversy over the historic influx of illegal immigrants that the Republican opposition has claimed accused of turning a blind eye.
The American President has arrived Joe Biden Sunday evening to Mexico, on his first official visit to that country after more than two years in office, according to Agence France-Presse.
Biden was greeted by his Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as he stepped off Air Force One. The two men will hold bilateral meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday ahead of a summit of North American leaders in Mexico City on Tuesday.
Biden had visited El Paso, the Texas transit point to Mexico that is at the center of the controversy Illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
And the US president met with elements of the city’s border patrol in El Paso, at a time when the Republican opposition is accusing him of ignoring the historic influx of illegal immigrants.
Speaking about his trip on Twitter late Saturday, the President noted “the need to expand legal avenues for organized immigration,” saying, “We can do all of this while reducing illegal immigration.”
The US President was accompanied by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who in an interview with ABC on Sunday called for a “regional solution” to the immigration crisis.
On Thursday, the White House announced measures to ease pressure on the border after more than 230,000 people were arrested in November.
It’s worth noting that up to 30,000 immigrants per month are allowed into the United States from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, but they have to arrive by air so as not to increase the workload of border guards on the ground.
In turn, those crossing the border illegally would be more easily turned back, the White House said.
The deadly fentanyl
Biden’s visit to Mexico is expected to be marred by the tragedy of the synthetic drug fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin and is being policed by Mexican cartels using chemical components imported from China, according to the US Drug Enforcement Agency.
It is known that two-thirds of the 108,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2021 will be attributed to synthetic opioids. The amounts of fentanyl seized in 2022 alone, according to the agency, exceed the amount needed to kill the entire American people.
Brian Nichols, US State Department official for Latin America, said the United States is seeking to expand chemical compound information sharing with Mexico and improve prevention.
On the other hand, prior to Biden’s visit, Mexico arrested Ovidio Guzman, a major methamphetamine dealer, during an operation that resulted in 10 deaths among security forces and 19 among the Sinaloa cartel.
Security expert Ricardo Marques said: “When meetings like this happen, sooner or later the Mexican authorities always have something to offer,” considering that the arrest process does not affect the structure of the Sinaloa cartel, whose networks stretch far into 50 countries.
Climate change will be on the agenda of talks, especially as countries attending the climate conference (COP27) in Egypt announced renewable energy projects involving investments of US$48 billion, while Mexico pledged to reduce targets of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
During its talks, the summit is expected to discuss lithium exploitation, relocation of electric car assembly plants, construction of six solar power plants by the Mexican side and possibilities for cooperation in the field of clean energy.
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