Mexico’s Lopez Obrador And Trump Talk Immigration

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 4:31pm
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 4:53pm
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MEXICO CITY — Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump over the phone on Wednesday morning about investing in economic opportunities in Central America as a way of stemming migration from the region.

Lopez Obrador, in comments he made to news reporters in Mexico City on Wednesday, said he spoke with Trump for 30 minutes, avoiding the rancorous topic of a new border wall. Lopez Obrador is calling on a regional investment of $30 billion, his spokesperson said in a statement.

The phone call follows a preliminary agreement reached on Sunday night between the U.S., Mexico and Canada to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Lopez Obrador, who will take office Dec. 1, has said he approves of the tentative deal.

"Great call," Trump tweeted after the conversation. "We will work well together!"

Lopez Obrador’s proposal to address the causes of migration from Central America is a departure from his two previous predecessors, said Elisa Ortega Velásquez, an immigration policy professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Presidents Enrique Peña Nieto and Felipe Calderon followed "the politics of not having any immigration politics," Ortega Velásquez said.

"The government has been very gray regarding doing positive actions regarding immigration, not only for Mexicans abroad, but also for immigrants here in Mexico," Ortega Velásquez said.

Lopez Obrador’s spokesman said in a statement that a delegation representing the new administration, including foreign relations advisor Marcelo Ebrard, would travel to the United States within the next few days.

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