Biden, Mexico’s Obrador to talk immigration, security, Ukraine in call Friday


President Joe Biden will meet virtually with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday and the North American leaders are expected to mull over key issues including immigration, which has been an active topic recently in Washington, D.C.

The White House said that Biden and Obrador will speak at 1 p.m. EDT.

“The two leaders will discuss their vision for the Ninth Summit of the Americas and how North America can lead on priority initiatives for the region,” the White House said in a statement.

“They also plan to discuss cooperation on migration, joint development efforts in Central America, competitiveness and economic growth, security, energy, and economic cooperation.”

Immigration and border security have been much-debated topics in the United States over the past few weeks. The Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas against Biden that seeks to keep former President Donald Trump‘s “Remain in Mexico” policy — which says that refugee migrants must wait out their asylum cases in Mexico or some other country.

Biden’s administration has tried to junk the policy, but federal appellate courts have ruled so far that the program is not discretionary — meaning a president can’t simply cut it.

Also this week, a federal judge paused Biden’s plan to end Title 42 — a federal law allowing the United States to expel migrants quickly into Mexico on COVID-19 grounds. Trump used Title 42 to begin expelling migrants and Biden set it to expire late next month.

The judge’s decision, however, pauses the plan and it will be evaluated at a hearing on May 13.

At Friday’s meeting, Biden is also expected to raise Mexico’s neutrality regarding the Russian war in Ukraine. In the past, Gen. Glen Van Herck, the head of the U.S. Northern Command, has accused Mexico of being soft on Russian espionage.

Biden and Obrador met in person at the White House last November.

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