BUENOS AIRES: When dozens of Latin American presidents and foreign ministers gather in Mexico on Sunday, they will face a difficult task: finding a solution to the influx of immigrants that is flooding two continents with people en route to the United States. This year alone, 1.7 million migrants have arrived at the Mexico-US border. Immigration is becoming a major political issue in both countries, as both hold presidential elections next year. The Mexican government said that in September alone, 60,000 migrants from Venezuela arrived in Mexico, along with 35,000 from Guatemala and 27,000 from Honduras. “These numbers are very difficult to manage if we do not have a policy that allows migration not only between Mexico and the United States, but also from northern South America to the United States,” Mexico’s Foreign Minister stated. Alicia Barcena told Congress this week. Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador said that “we have to agree” on immigration policy “because we can do a lot on our own” in Latin America. He added that Latin American countries must “find ways to cooperate with the US government” on a single front. 4,444 The Presidents of Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Venezuela will participate in the Chiapas conference. Haitian Prime Minister Airel Henry will also be present. Barcena said the summit aimed to limit immigration through economic programs, address Washington’s sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba and discuss “labor migration pathways” to the US. Migration researcher Dolores Paris Pombo said the Mexico summit was a welcome start to “a dialogue with the global South”, but it may not achieve much. He told AFP that Mexico wants to ease migration pressures by adopting a broader regional approach. US signs deal with Mexico, Venezuela
. About 7.1 million Venezuelans have left the country in recent years as US economic sanctions and the economic and political crisis pose challenges knowledge for neighboring South American countries. Additionally, the problem in Latin America is exacerbated by inconsistent U.S. immigration policies, which vary widely from former President Donald Trump to current leader Joe Biden, Paris Pombo said. “They set certain priorities for certain countries, but then they suddenly shut down and changed the programs.” Biden has implemented several policies aimed at stemming the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States, including an agreement with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. About 130 Venezuelan migrants arrived Wednesday on a chartered plane from the United States. This is the first such deportation flight after the agreement between the two countries, even if Washington does not recognize Mr. Maduro’s re-election in 2018. The United States is repatriating migrants, mainly to Central America and South America, on about 70 flights per week, officials said recently. Meanwhile, the Biden administration recently introduced deportation protection for 472,000 Venezuelans to obtain residence and work permits within 18 months – although this only applies to those before July 31 this year. In September, Mexican and U.S. authorities reached an agreement with Mexico to expel some deported migrants from the United States.