Next month, President Joe Biden will travel to Mexico to meet with Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Biden will attend the North American Leaders Summit in Mexico City on January 9-10, according to National Security Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby. Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, is also expected to attend.
The announcement comes amid an influx of migrants that has put a strain on border communities. Local authorities are concerned that if the United States lifts the Title 42 health order that allowed the Biden administration to expedite the removal of migrants throughout the pandemic, resources will be further strained.
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser declared a state of emergency on Saturday, anticipating the end of the Trump administration’s policy.
The measure was ordered to be lifted by a lower court on December 21, but the Supreme Court intervened on Monday, potentially delaying changes to immigration enforcement.
Prior to the intervention, the White House stressed that even if Title 42 is lifted, the US will continue to enforce border security, but officials declined to say whether Biden would travel to Mexico to deliver the message in person.
Biden’s summit agenda, according to Kirby, will centre on climate and environmental challenges, policies aimed at increasing North American nations’ competitiveness, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, health and safety measures, and migration issues.
In a dig at Biden, López Obrador opted out of a June summit in Los Angeles for Latin American leaders after the US president refused to invite leaders from non-democratic countries.
Biden later hosted López Obrador, also known as AMLO, at the White House. The US president emphasised the importance of the alliance in addressing migration and combating drug smuggling at the border during the July meeting.