Readout of the President’s Call to President Peña Nieto of Mexico
This evening President Obama spoke by phone with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in advance of his meeting tomorrow with the Presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. They followed up on earlier discussions on a coordinated policy addressing the influx of unaccompanied children coming from Central America, through Mexico, to the U.S.-Mexico border. The President noted President Peña Nieto’s announcement of a comprehensive strategy to improve controls and safeguards along its border with Guatemala and Belize, and exchanged views on how we can deepen cooperation.
The President noted that these unaccompanied children are vulnerable to crime and abuse, and welcomed Mexico’s efforts to help target the criminals that lure families to send children on the dangerous journey and to alert potential migrants to the perils of the journey and the likelihood that they will be returned to Central America. The President also reiterated that arriving migrants will not qualify for legalization under proposed immigration reform legislation or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA).
The Presidents also exchanged ideas on how the United States and Mexico can work with regional partners and collaborate with Central American leaders to address the underlying causes leading to migration. They discussed the possibility of regional programs that would pool resources to improve public security and increase economic opportunities in Central America.