US President Joe Biden met with Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso on Monday to discuss efforts to stem the flow of migrants into the United States amid mounting pressure on the White House over its immigration policy.
The Biden administration must this week repeal Title 42, a public health order first issued under former President Donald Trump that allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection to quickly deport migrants to Mexico or back to their home countries in order to to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 19 viruses in US holding facilities.
The overturning of the order, which was requested by a judge who said it was “arbitrary and capricious” and violates federal law, could result in the release of thousands of asylum-seekers in border-state communities and a larger influx of migrants into the US border with Mexico.
Biden and Lasso sat next to each other in the Oval Office to begin their talks.
“Today we will continue to build on the progress we have made. Together, we’ve made historic strides on migration,” Biden told reporters.
Lasso said he and Biden would reaffirm democratic values of liberty and respect for human rights.
“We were the first country in Latin America to condemn the Russian attack on Ukraine. We believe in multilateralism, we believe in the international rule of law, we believe that dialogue is the best formula for resolving differences,” Lasso said.
U.S. lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, on Sunday urged Biden to take action to deal with an expected surge of asylum seekers on America’s southern border.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat who appeared on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” show on Sunday, urged Biden to seek an extension of Title 42.
“The president has to find a way,” Manchin said.
Lasso visited the White House after former US Senator Chris Dodd, who is Biden’s special adviser on America, extended an invitation on behalf of the president during a recent visit to Ecuador.
Lasso attended the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles last summer after some key presidents opted to skip him and send delegations instead.
The Biden administration has attempted to address the “root causes” of immigration, including poor economic conditions and political instability.
“We are obviously invested in Ecuador’s success and the democratically elected President of Ecuador is working hard to provide prosperity and security for his people,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in a call to reporters on Friday.
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