Today, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico and U.S. Homeland Security Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall met in Mexico City to build on the successful migration initiative that President López Obrador and President Biden announced in January 2023. Following that meeting, the United States and Mexico are announcing a set of additional measures to address the humanitarian situation caused by unprecedented migration flows at our shared border and in the region.
First, Mexico and the United States will increase joint actions to counter-human smugglers and traffickers that are exploiting migrants. This complements the 60-day surge campaign that the United States recently launched with Colombia and Panama to counter human smuggling in the Darien.
Second, the two countries committed to continue to enhance their efforts in Central America to address the root causes of migration and expand legal pathways. Specifically, Mexico and the United States will redouble their development efforts that focus on people-to-people support.
Third, Mexico recognized the great potential value of the regional processing centers that the United States announced last week, and discussed how Mexico can contribute to their effectiveness. The United States intends to welcome as many as 100,000 individuals from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador under the family reunification parole processes that Secretary Mayorkas announced last week.
Fourth, Mexico and the United States commit to continue the successful joint initiative that President López Obrador and President Biden announced in January 2023 beyond May 11, 2023. This initiative – which combines expanded legal pathways with consequences for irregular migration – achieved a 95 percent drop in border encounters of individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela at our shared border. Today, the United States committed to continue to welcome individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela under our parole process. For its part, Mexico will continue to accept back migrants on humanitarian grounds.
Fifth, we affirm our commitment to modernize our 2000-mile shared border. To that end, President Biden approved moving forward on a Presidential Permit to advance the expansion of Calexico East Land Port of Entry. We jointly commit to take steps to finalize this project by the end of the year – a step that will benefit both the U.S. and Mexican economies.