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As President Biden looks to undo his predecessor’s immigration policies, he is seeking to work with a Mexican counterpart who was a surprise contributor to them.
WASHINGTON — President Biden will speak by video conference on Monday with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, one of the unexpected, yet pivotal, drivers of Trump-era policies to seal the United States to migrants that Mr. Biden is trying to unwind.
Mr. Biden is expected to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, cracking down on drug trafficking and collaborating on economic opportunities with one of Washington’s largest trading partners, according to a senior administration official. The discussion, coming just days after Mr. Biden sought to repair relations in a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, will also center on efforts to control migration as the Biden administration contends with rising numbers of unaccompanied children at the southwestern border.
Mr. López Obrador is a critical partner as Mr. Biden seeks to reverse former President Donald J. Trump’s border policies and make an immigration overhaul a centerpiece of his agenda. In Mr. López Obrador, however, the new president is not dealing with yet another relieved world leader eager to rebuild relations and move on from his abrasive predecessor.
The Mexican president won the admiration of Mr. Trump for cooperating on his hard-line immigration agenda, a reversal of a campaign promise to protect migrants made in part to avoid tariffs Mr. Trump threatened to impose. Mr. López Obrador came to appreciate the Trump administration for its eventual hands-off approach to Mexican domestic policy issues, even praising Mr. Trump during a call with Mr. Biden, then the president-elect, in December.
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