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Migration, Security on Agenda as Mexican Leader Visits Washington


FILE - President Joe Biden (right) meets with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Nov. 18, 2021. The Mexican president will visit the White House this week.

U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for talks at the White House on Tuesday with migration, security and the economy topping the agenda.

A senior Biden administration official told reporters the two sides were expected to announce “joint actions to improve border infrastructure that address irregular migration enhance law enforcement cooperation to disrupt the flow of fentanyl to both our countries and promote clean energy, economic innovation and prosperity.”

The official said the two sides would launch a working group to examine “labor migration pathways and worker protections.”

National Security Council Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan González told VOA Spanish on Monday the White House is willing to expand the number of visas for temporary workers from Mexico and Central America according to needs.

He did not say how many visas may be under consideration, following comments from Mexican Interior Minister Adan Augusto Lopez last month suggesting Tuesday’s meeting would include the announcement of an offer of 300,000 more work visas.

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López Obrador told reporters Monday that he and Biden would discuss ways to cooperate to address inflation in both Mexico and the United States.

He cited the importance of labor and boosting production, mentioning the agreement in the 1940s that allowed Mexican workers temporary work permits to address agricultural labor shortages in the United States.

López Obrador’s visit comes a month after he declined to attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. The Mexican leader objected to the exclusion of the leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.