In advance of high-level meetings with American officials anticipated to center on immigration and security, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday rejected American proposals to build new sections of wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In advance of talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other top US officials in Mexico City, Lopez Obrador stated at a press conference, “This authorization for the construction of the wall is a step backwards.”
Lopez Obrador said drug trafficking, trade and investment would also be on the agenda during the talks taking place amid an increase in the number of people crossing the Mexican border to the U.S.
In a policy shift for the Biden administration, the United States said on Thursday it will build additional sections of border wall and roads in Starr County, Texas, where a large number of migrants have been crossing from Mexico.
On Monday, Lopez Obrador said that 10,000 people were last week reaching the U.S. border every day.
The Mexican president blamed the extreme right of the Republican Party for pushing the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, to approve new wall construction ahead of the U.S. 2024 presidential election.
Immigration is a major campaign issue, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams was in Mexico as part of a visit to Latin America seeking solutions to the problem.
Lopez Obrador has urged the United States to support economic development in Latin America to keep migration under control.