Mexican president says he will call out US lawmakers who vote against immigration reform
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Tuesday he will personally call out U.S. members of Congress who vote against immigration reform.
“If legislators from one party block this initiative, we will call them out at a later time in a respectful manner. We will make it known from here that legislators from one party did not help something that is just and humanitarian,” said López Obrador at his daily press conference.
The remarks were first reported by Mexican daily Reforma.
López Obrador also praised President Biden, whom he credited with a proposal to regularize the status of 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
“No president has made a deeper commitment in benefit of migrants than President Biden,” López Obrador said.
“He committed to 11 million, to regularize the situation of 11 million migrants,” he added.
Biden’s Build Back Better spending bill, which is still be debated in Congress but should get a House vote later this week, currently includes language that could grant some form of immigration relief to about 7 million foreign nationals in the United States.
On the campaign trail, Biden did commit to creating a “road map to citizenship” for 11 million undocumented immigrants, in conjunction with Congress.
López Obrador and Biden are due to meet in person, along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at the White House on Thursday.
At his press conference, López Obrador said he would not repeat his threat to call out American lawmakers at that meeting.
“I’m doing it here because I can’t deal with it as openly in the United States out of respect for the sovereignty of that country,” he said.
Still, López Obrador directly appealed to Congress to consider the contributions of Mexicans to the U.S. economy.
“U.S. legislators should not forget and our migrant brothers should be conscious that there are 38 million Mexicans in the United States,” he said.
“Just so you have an idea, the second-largest Hispanic community is the Puerto Rican community, and they are 5 million, and the third, with all our respect, is the Cuban community, 4 million,” he added.
The immigration provisions within the social spending and climate package have been whittled down in negotiations among Democrats and are now centered around a parole option that would grant work permits to certain groups.
It’s far short of the initial ask by grassroots immigrant groups, which wanted legal permanent residency — the first step toward citizenship — for nearly all undocumented immigrants in the country.
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