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President Trump gave a warm welcome to Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a meeting at the White House on Wednesday where they celebrated the new North American Free Trade Agreement, called the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement.
Trump has repeatedly attacked Mexico throughout his presidency, threatening economic consequences if it did not crack down on Central American migrants traveling through the country to the U.S.–Mexico border. But on Wednesday, he struck a different tone, saying the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico “has never been closer.” López Obrador said that the two countries were “setting aside differences, or we are solving those differences through dialogue and mutual respect.”
Trump even made positive remarks about Mexican citizens in the U.S.: “The United States is home to 36 million incredible Mexican-American citizens. Mexican-Americans uplift our communities and they strengthen our churches and enrich every feature of national life … They are hardworking, incredible people.” That’s a change from the disparaging things Trump said about Mexican Americans during his presidential run.
Trump then commended López Obrador for Mexico’s help on decreasing the number of people crossing the U.S.–Mexico border. Mexico waged a concerted campaign against Central Americans who were attempting to cross from Guatemala into the U.S. Internally, the number of deportations carried out by Mexican authorities has also increased. The New York Times
In other federal immigration news…
New Rule Bans Asylum Seekers from Countries with Outbreaks
The Trump administration announced a new asylum rule on Wednesday that would block people who come from countries where the coronavirus is spreading from seeking asylum in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security and The Department of Justice proposal was published in the Federal Register for a 30-day period of public comments, and will take effect sometime after the comment period ends. It allows authorities to consider “concerns based on communicable disease” when considering applicant’s eligibility for asylum. The U.S. itself is safely on top of coronavirus case and death counts, and no country is set to reach that bar. Associated Press
Biden-Sanders Task Force Pledges to Reverse Trump’s Immigration Policies
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) created a joint task force to set the Democratic platform for the upcoming election, in hopes of avoiding fractures that emerged in 2016. Their immigration task force released its suggestions on Wednesday, and indicated the party’s focus would be on undoing Trump’s restrictionist agenda. It includes protecting Dreamers, reversing the Muslim Ban and Africa Ban, ending Migrant Protection Protocols, and the safe third country agreements with Central American countries. They also pledged to increase the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. to 125,000 per year. The task force stopped short of calling for ICE to be abolished, and instead called for increased oversight of the agency. The New York Times
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