Vice President Kamala Harris met with Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador to discuss everything but the border, according to a Thursday press release.
Harris and Obrador didn’t appear to discuss the Biden administration’s pending implementation of former President Donald Trump’s Remain in Mexico program or other issues overwhelming U.S. border officials, such as increased migration to the country, according to the statement.
“Vice President Harris and President López Obrador agreed to continue working together to address the root causes of migration from Central America and the need for a regional approach to migration in the Western Hemisphere,” according to the press release.
Harris and Obrador’s discussions also included reviewing the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, COVID-19 recovery and “security priorities,” according to the press release.
President Joe Biden wasn’t expected to push border policies during his meetings with Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday, senior administration officials said, CBS News reported. Discussions would reportedly focus on the “root causes” of mass migration to Canada, Mexico and the U.S., including violence, poverty and natural disasters.
Border officials encountered more than 1.7 million migrants at the southern border from September 2020 through September 2021, according to Customs and Border Protection data. However, the number of encounters is slightly higher than the number of individual people included as some migrants make several crossing attempts after having been expelled under the Trump-era public health order implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.