Homeland security chief says US-Mexico border is not open
MEXICO CITY, June 15 (Reuters) – United States Homeland Security Chief Alejandro Mayorkas said on Tuesday that the southern United States border was not open to irregular migration, adding that the Biden administration was developing “legal channels” aimed at slowing the flow of people at the border.
The Homeland Security Secretary’s remarks during a visit to Mexico City come amid months of heavy migration that have become an early political challenge for US President Joe Biden, as hundreds of thousands flee violence and violence. poverty in Central America and parts of Mexico.
Mayorkas said Mexico and the United States are working to reduce irregular migration.
“We challenged each other,” he said at a press conference. “It’s not just a question the United States is asking Mexico, it’s a question of what we can both do.”
Echoing Vice President Kamala Harris’ comments to migrants during a visit to Guatemala last week, he said the government had sent a clear message to migrants: “Don’t come”. Read more
He pointed out that the government was working on alternatives he called “legal avenues,” listing programs such as temporary work visas and US investments to tackle violence, corruption and weak economies in countries. with high migration rate.
“We are dedicated and dedicated to providing different types of relief,” Mayorkas said.
Critics said the US government was sending mixed messages that could fuel further migration, after Harris described the US as a safe haven for asylum seekers just days after warning migrants they would be turned back at the border.
Mayorkas noted that Title 42, a COVID-19 health ordinance implemented under former U.S. President Donald Trump to slow migration during the pandemic, would remain in place for as long as needed for public health reasons.
Biden has faced increasing pressure from migrant advocates and health experts to end the policy as more and more evidence emerges that migrants are deported in danger to Mexico. Read more
Mayorkas added that his department would be ready to resolve border issues once the order is lifted.
“It is not an immigration policy tool,” he said.
In meetings with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and other senior Mexican officials, Mayorkas also discussed ramping up vaccinations at the border as part of efforts to phase out travel restrictions linked to the pandemic. .
The United States is not considering requiring a so-called vaccination passport for crossings, he said.
Biden on Tuesday chose Latino lawyer and former US senator Ken Salazar as Mexican ambassador, whose role includes working to limit migration from Central America. Read more
Salazar in 2017 criticized Trump’s migration policies, saying border relations were about “building trust, not walls.”
Trump announced on Tuesday that he would travel to the Texas-Mexico border this month with Texas Governor Greg Abbott after the two complained about an increase in the number of migrants entering the United States. United.
Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Chris Reese
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