The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Readout of the President’s Call to President Peña Nieto of Mexico
This afternoon President Obama spoke by phone with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to discuss a regional strategy to address the influx of unaccompanied children coming from Central America, through Mexico, to the U.S.-Mexico border. The President noted that Vice President Biden will attend a regional meeting in Guatemala on Friday, June 20, to discuss the urgent humanitarian issue, and welcomed the opportunity to work in close cooperation with Mexico to develop concrete proposals to address the root causes of unlawful migration from Central America. He also discussed the United States and Mexico’s shared responsibility for promoting security in both countries and in the region.
The President noted that the United States and Mexico can collaborate on a number of areas related to the issue, including by working together to return the children safely to their families and to build Central American capacity to receive returned individuals. The President also noted that these unaccompanied children are vulnerable to crime and abuse, and welcomed Mexico’s efforts to help target the criminals that lure families to send children on the dangerous journey and to alert potential migrants to the perils of the journey and the likelihood that they will be returned to Central America. The President also reiterated that arriving migrants will not qualify for legalization under proposed immigration reform legislation or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA).