Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador welcomed the decision by his US counterpart Joe Biden to cancel the construction of a border wall separating the two countries, calling it a “good” decision.
Lopez Obrador also welcomed Biden’s proposal to set up a visa system for Mexican and Central American migrants. Both measures are among Biden’s first actions since taking office in January, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
“It is an issue that we celebrate because the wall has been under construction for some time … so it is a historical step,” Lopez Obrador told reporters during his usually daily press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City.
Instead of building walls, said Lopez Obrador, the United States should join his government’s initiative of “cooperation for development,” which seeks to curb migration by attacking the poverty that drives would-be migrants to seek a better life abroad.
He also proposed that the United States establish a channel for the legal entry of migrants, because “the workforce of Mexico and Central America is required” in the United States.
In recent months, the flow of mostly undocumented migrants travelling to the US border returned to pre-pandemic levels, after border closures in Central America to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease served to reduce immigration between April and June of last year.
According to analysts, immigration issues will be a challenge for the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the United States, following the hostile anti-immigrant policies of Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump.