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Report: Biden quietly telling Mexico to curb surge of migrants

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The Biden administration has been quietly urging Mexico to increase its efforts to stem the flow of Latin American migrants, according to a New York Times report Thursday.

This report came the same day that the administration announced plans to share millions of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses with Mexico and Canada.

At Thursday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the United States was planning to send 2.5 million doses of the vaccine to Mexico and 1.5 million to Canada, adding that it was “not finalized yet, but that is our aim.”

During a video call this month with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President Joe Biden asked him whether more could be done to help solve the problem of the migrant surge at the border, Mexican officials and another person briefed on the conversation told The Times.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Biden’s message to migrants: ‘Don’t come over’

The pair also discussed the possibility of the U.S. sending Mexico some of its extra vaccine doses, a senior Mexican official told the newspaper. Mexico has publicly asked the Biden administration to send it doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Both governments cooperate on the basis of an orderly, safe and regular migration system,” Roberto Velasco, director general for the North America region at Mexico’s foreign ministry, said in a statement, referring to the engagement between the two countries on migration and vaccines, according to The Times.

However, Velasco said there was no quid pro quo for vaccines: “These are two separate issues, as we look for a more humane migratory system and enhanced cooperation against COVID-19, for the benefit of our two countries and the region.”

MORE ON THE BORDER: Mayorkas grilled about testing migrants for COVID-19

A Biden administration official declined to comment on discussions with Mexico, but noted to The Times that both countries shared a common goal of reducing migration by addressing its root causes, and said they were working closely to restrict the flow of migrants to the border.

Mexico has agreed to boost its presence on its southern border with Guatemala to impede migration from Central America, one of the government officials said, according to the newspaper. Local Mexican officials too, The Times reported, say their country has lately increased efforts to stop migrants on the northern border with the U.S. also.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Arizona AG: Biden ‘incentivizing’ migrants ‘to break the law and come here’

As The Times noted, there were indications that Mexico’s commitment to stopping migrants might have decreased in the final months of the Trump administration, who would threaten tariffs against Mexican products unless the country acted more to stem the flow of migrants.

Between October and December of last year, the number of Central Americans detained by Mexico dipped, while arrests by the U.S. rose, according to Mexican government numbers and data gathered by The Washington Office on Latin America, a research organization that promotes human rights.

“The likelihood of the outgoing Trump administration threatening tariffs again was low, so there was an incentive for Mexico to go back to its default state of low apprehensions,” said Adam Isacson, a border security expert at The Washington Office on Latin America, according to The Times.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Immigration

20 states suing Biden administration over migrant parole program

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President Joe Biden has expanded a humanitarian parole program  leading to a significant increase of migrants entering the United States illegally each month. As a result, 20 states have geared up to sue the Biden administration.

Tuesday, 20 Republican states and conservative legal group America First Legal, announced their plans to sue the White House over the legality of the administration’s parole program. The program “allows up to 30,000 migrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela into the homeland each month” reports Foreign Desk News.

Reports shoot the lawsuit was filed by Texas, the America First Legal and the other states in the Southern District of Texas in hopes to block the parole program.

Foreign Desk News reports of the history:

In October, the administration announced the program for Venezuelans, allowing a limited number to fly directly into the U.S. as long as they had not entered illegally, had a sponsor already, and passed certain checks. In early January, President Biden announced that the program would expand to include Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Cubans, allowing up to 30,000 a month into the U.S.

The program also allows migrants to receive work permits and a two-year authorization to live in the U.S. and was announced alongside an expansion of Title 42 expulsions to include those nationalities.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that the program is unlawful given the “exceptionally limited” parole power the federal government has, adding that they have up to 360,000 migrants that could be allowed into the homeland a year.

The suit’s focus is on the limits placed on parole by Congress, saying that the authority is to be used on a “case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”

“Every state in America, especially border states like Texas, is being crushed by the impacts of illegal immigration,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“The Biden open borders agenda has created a humanitarian crisis that is increasing crime and violence in our streets, overwhelming local communities, and worsening the opioid crisis. This unlawful amnesty program, which will invite hundreds of thousands of aliens into the U.S. every year, will only make this immigration crisis drastically worse.”

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