As expected, the meeting in Mexico City of the so-called North American axis focused on the issue of the moment: the regional migration crisis, which has forced Washington to close the southern border to undocumented immigrants, Mexico to commit to receiving rejected migrants and Ottawa to be an observant and patient ally in a situation that to date has not particularly affected it. But generally speaking, it was a bit of a gray event, like an informal gathering of friends.
But there are other common problems. Hence the participation of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with the presidents of the United States and Mexico, Joe Biden and Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
They decided to create a virtual platform to provide migrants with simplified access to legal pathways, a new immigration plan focused on a digital system in which immigrants, before traveling to the border, must find out the legal pathways available and whether or not they qualify. for any of the authorized benefits, either to enter Mexico, the United States or Canada.
The plan will include a new resource center for immigrants that will be installed in southern Mexico, on the border with Guatemala, one of the points of greatest traffic of immigrants to the United States.
“Now more than ever, we need to identify and address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement. Mexico, Canada, and the United States are committed to supporting the countries of the Western Hemisphere to create conditions to improve the quality of life, especially in marginalized communities, which are vulnerable to displacement and internal and regional forced migration,” it states. in the final statement issued Tuesday.
And to this end, “we will continue to work together and with our respective private sectors to promote responsible business practices, implement obligations under the USMCA and international labor agreements, as well as cooperate to eradicate the use of forced and child labor in our supply chains.” ”.
This is part of a political commitment based on “a shared vision of a more equitable, just, inclusive, resilient, secure and prosperous America, as well as a shared responsibility for more equitable results that respond to the needs and aspirations of our citizens” .
And to achieve this, the commitment they assumed includes helping host communities and promoting the integration of migrants and refugees; provide protection to refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants; strengthen the asylum capacity in the region; expand regular migration and protection pathways; address the root causes and impacts of irregular migration and forced displacement; and collaborate to counteract xenophobia as well as discrimination against migrants and refugees.
Outside of this point, the meeting of just a day and a half expressed the will to collaborate in the fight against drug trafficking, human trafficking and the protection of populations. “The aim is to obtain more equitable results that respond to the needs and aspirations of our citizens”, affirms the final statement.
During fiscal year 2022, which ended on September 30 of last year, the Border Patrol attested to having received 2,766,582 foreigners at the border with Mexico, compared to 1,956,519 in 2021.
Washington assured that most of those arrested were expelled expeditiously and that the rest were processed and referred to the immigration courts so that a judge can decide their future in the United States.