Biden and the Mexican leader promise to work together on border issues, drug trafficking

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President Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday reaffirm the commitment to work together to address immigration and combat the trafficking of fentanyl to the US, addressing two issues that have been the main attack against the administration by the 2024 Republican presidential candidates.

Sometimes the two leaders have gotten out in public. And López Obrador, who skipped a summit in Los Angeles last year on migration because the US refused to invite three authoritarian countries in the Western Hemisphere, decided not to attend co -Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference this week.

At Friday’s meeting in San Francisco, where they were in town for APEC, they really complimented each other. Biden and López Obrador pledged to work together on two key issues that have long been a source of conflict between their two countries, although neither announced any major new initiatives.

“We are really committed to continuing to help at the highest capacity to prevent drug trafficking, which is the entry of fentanyl and other chemical precursors,” said López Obrador via translator, adding that Mexico is “fully aware of that damage. he stands for the youth of the United States.”

“I want to tell you about my great conversation with Xi Jinping on that issue,” Biden told López Obrador, apparently referring to the agreement he reached with the Chinese president this week to stem the flow of fentanyl. – into the US to reduce.

Six takeaways after Biden’s meeting with Xi

The Mexican leader also thanked Biden for his administration’s work on migration, stressing that “Further progress must be made to address the phenomenon of migration. We are working on that together, in coordination. “

Biden told López Obrador that he “couldn’t have a better partner.” ” The Mexican leader called his compatriot “a good man” and “a great president.”

Republicans have tried to link Biden and his policies to the increase in migrants on the southern border and the proliferation of illegal and deadly drugs, such as fentanyl, entering the US

In 2022, fatal drug overdoses progressed but remained near record levels. And in August, the number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border reached an all-time high, before declining this fall after deportation flights to Venezuela resumed. Crossings are still very high and cities are struggling to accommodate increasing numbers of migrants.

The migrant crisis is weighing on New York, dividing the Democrats. Here’s why.

Mr. Biden’s handling of the immigration issue appears to be one he should continue in 2024.

In a September Washington Post-ABC News poll, 23 percent of respondents said they approved of Mr. Biden’s handling of the immigration situation at the U.S.-Mexico border and said 62 percent disagreed. That compares to 28 percent approval and 59 percent disapproval in February.

This weekend, former president Donald Trump is expected to head to the US-Mexico border in South Texas as he tries to capitalize on these weak numbers. There, he and Gov. Greg Abbott (R) feeds members of Operation Lone Star, the governor’s state-led border crackdown, which has been the subject of several legal battles.

The Rio Grande Valley along the US-Mexico border, where Trump will visit, seen as an opportunity for Republicans to make inroads with Latino voters.

The state’s GOP presidential primary isn’t until March, but if Trump wins the race, it could help give him a large number of delegates. In 2020, Biden lost Texas by six points, coming closer than any Democratic presidential candidate in years, as the state’s demographics shifted.

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