July 11 (BP) — Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will meet with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris separately on Tuesday to discuss migration, crime and the economy after boycotting last month’s Summit of the Americas.
Harris will meet with Lopez Obrador over breakfast at the National Observatory in Washington, D.C., to outline the administration’s efforts to manage historic numbers of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, before meeting with Biden in the afternoon.
Biden designated Harris last year to address the causes of increased migration from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to the United States.
The number of migrants crossing the southern U.S. border in May was the largest on record in two decades, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
Last month, Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO, said he would meet with Biden in Washington, D.C., as he withdrew from the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles after the U.S. excluded Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela from attending over human-rights concerns.
“I am not going to the summit because not all the countries of the Americas are invited,” Lopez Obrador said last month. “I believe in the need to change the policy that has been imposed for centuries — exclusions, wanting to dominate for no reason, not respecting the sovereignty of countries.”
Despite the snub, Lopez Obrador said his government will “continue to maintain good relations” with Biden.
“I am very sorry not to be able to meet with President Biden because I consider him a good man, but he is under strong pressure from Republicans, extremists and some leaders of the Cuban community in the United States, who have a lot of influence,” he said.
Biden will meet with Lopez Obrador at the White House later Tuesday to discuss migration issues at the U.S.-Mexico border. Their meeting is expected to cover security and crime, including drug and arms smuggling at the border.
Illegal smuggling of opioids from Mexico was the leading source of a record 106,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The two leaders are also expected to discuss supply chain disruptions, inflation and rising food and energy costs fueled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.