Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday praised President Biden for being the “first president in the United States in recent times who has not built walls.”
López Obrador made the remark while meeting with Biden in San Francisco, adding that “we wish to assist the people in their countries of origin when they are forced to migrate.”
“I would like to also take this opportunity to greet our paisanos, the Mexican migrants who are living and making a life and working in the United States,” he continued. “Around 40 million people have made the United States their second home, their second country, and I would also like to inform those who may not be aware of this that in recent years there are many American citizens who are moving to Mexico to stay there or to live in Mexico.”
“So welcome, because we are brotherly countries,” López Obrador added.
President Biden, right, meets with Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco on Friday.(AP/Evan Vucci)
Biden said while sitting next to Mexico’s president, “We’re working side by side to combat arms trafficking, to tackle organized crime and to address the opioid epidemic, including fentanyl.”
The meeting comes two weeks after Fox News Digital reported that the Biden administration approved $950 million in contracts to repair and upgrade part of existing border wall construction in Arizona, California and Texas, using money from Trump-era congressional appropriations.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador described the U.S. and Mexico as “brotherly countries.”(AP/Evan Vucci)
In court documents, first reported by the New York Post, the Department of Homeland Security said that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has awarded contracts for repair work and “system attribute installation” in the San Diego, El Centro, El Paso and Tucson Sectors.
Remediation work includes closing gaps, installing gates and improving roads and drainage systems. “System attribute installation” includes putting in cameras, roads and detection technology to enhance the border wall. Other contracts include installing anti-climb features on the wall in San Diego, IT support and environmental planning. None of the money was awarded for additional wall construction.