Biden Seeks Help on Border From Mexican President

Updated: Mar 17, 2021


By Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Michael D. Shear

Published March 1, 2021 Updated March 4, 2021

President Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, during a virtual bilateral meeting on Monday with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico.Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Biden on Monday sought help from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico in averting a new crisis at the border, hoping for diplomatic cooperation from one of the key supporters of the harsh tactics imposed by Mr. Biden’s predecessor to choke off immigration.

Mr. López Obrador won the admiration of President Donald J. Trump for cooperating with his hard-line immigration agenda, and the Mexican president praised Mr. Trump during a call with Mr. Biden, then the president-elect, in December.

Facing an uptick of illegal migrant crossings at some parts of the southwestern border, Mr. Biden is now hoping that Mr. López Obrador will become a partner in preventing another cycle of out-of-control migration from Central America, but that he will do so without resorting to the full range of policies Mr. Trump embraced. The Mexican president appeared open to collaboration, issuing a joint statement committing to address climate change, the pandemic and migration north.

Despite campaigning against Mr. Trump’s policies, Mr. Biden wants one of the same things from the Mexican president that his predecessor did: help in keeping Central American migrants from immediately surging north toward the United States through Mexico.

While Mr. Biden has presented himself as breaking sharply with Trump administration immigration policies, he has abandoned only some.

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