Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday he approves of U.S. President Joe Biden's decision to stop new construction of the border wall between the two countries.
One of Biden’s first executive orders was to halt work on the wall, which had been one of former President Donald Trump’s first campaign promises. During his 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly insisted that Mexico would pay for it, though he later sought funding from the U.S. Congress for the project.
At his regular news briefing Friday, Mexico’s president told reporters he supports Biden's decision, saying in the past, U.S. presidents from both parties had worked on the border wall.
“Almost everyone has made their sections of the wall and now President Biden has decided that he is no longer going to build a wall on the border. So, it is historic," said Obrador.
He also urged U.S.-bound migrants to hold back from seeking to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border, now that a new U.S. administration is in place.
The Biden administration also announced Friday that starting next week, the U.S. government will begin to process asylum-seekers forced to wait in Mexico under a controversial program put in place by Trump.
Department of Homeland Security officials said beginning February 19, U.S. immigration officials will put in place phase one of a program to begin processing people who were placed in the “remain in Mexico” — also known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program — which forced tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to await U.S. immigration court dates on the Mexican side of the border.
There are approximately 25,000 migrants with active MPP cases.