US and Mexican cabinet officials ran out of time before discussing migration in a formal meeting in Mexico City on Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, leaving a major issue between the countries largely unaddressed.
Uncontrolled migration across the US southern border remains a political liability for President Joe Biden, and the topic was on the agenda for a formal meeting between the American leader, Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador and more than two dozen of their top aides in Mexico City, officials said.
But a private talk between Biden and Lopez Obrador before the official meeting ran long, leaving the larger group — including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan — with less time than expected. Officials said that Biden and the Mexican president, known as AMLO, discussed migration and the border in their private session, but it isn’t clear how much time they spent on the subject or in what detail they spoke.
In the larger meeting, Biden, AMLO and their cabinet secretaries spent most of their time discussing supply chains and drug smuggling, officials said.
AMLO did find the time to thank Biden for not building “even one meter of wall” at our southern border.
“Just imagine: There are 40 million Mexicans in the United States — 40 million [including people] who were born here in Mexico, [or] who are the children of people who were born in Mexico,” AMLO boasted during their joint press conference .