Biden, Mexican president agree actions to reopen border ports are ‘urgently needed’


President Biden spoke Thursday with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with the two men discussing efforts to reopen ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The conversation focused on migration issues, as lawmakers in the United States are working to clinch a deal on border policy.

Biden and López Obrador “agreed that additional enforcement actions are urgently needed so that key ports of entry can be reopened across our shared border,” according to a White House readout of the call.

Top Biden administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Homeland Security adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, are expected to travel to Mexico in the coming days to meet with López Obrador to discuss further border actions.

The Senate wrapped up its work for the year Wednesday without a deal on Ukraine funding or border security, and senators are not scheduled to return to Washington until Jan. 8.  

A group of Senate and White House negotiators plan to hold virtual meetings over the Christmas and New Year’s break on an emergency foreign aid package, but Congress isn’t expected to vote on anything until next month.  

Biden has said he is willing to make “significant compromises” on immigration policy to secure a deal for Ukraine funding as its war against Russia drags on. The White House has pointed to Biden’s previous calls for Congress to address immigration, as well as his requests for additional border agents and resources to process asylum-seekers.

Republicans have signaled any Ukraine aid must be passed alongside major overhauls to the immigration system, pointing to record-setting numbers of migrants crossing the southern border at times this year as evidence the problem has gotten out of control.

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