WASHINGTON – With a court order lifting Title 42 scheduled to take effect this week, President Joe Biden plans to discuss flows of migrants to the southern border with Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso when they meet on Monday.
Lasso’s visit comes after Chris Dodd, the former Connecticut senator and Biden’s special adviser for the Americas, extended an invitation on Biden’s behalf during a recent visit.
During the summer, Lasso attended the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles after a number of key presidents opted to skip out on the summit and send delegations instead.
“We are obviously invested in Ecuador’s success and the president of Ecuador, democratically elected as he is, is working hard to deliver prosperity and security for his people,” White House spokesman John Kirby said in a call with reporters Friday.
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What’s on the agenda?
- Migration: Review regional efforts to address migration that were laid out in the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection that was signed at the Summit of the Americas this past summer.
- Security: Biden and Lasso will discuss opportunities to collaborate as Ecuador assumes its two-year term on the UN Security Council.
- Combating gang violence: The two leaders will discuss increasing security cooperation to combat drug related gang violence.
Why this meeting matters
The meeting comes the same week the Biden administration is required to lift Title 42, which could lead to thousands of asylum-seeking migrants being released in border state communities and a greater influx of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Title 42, a public health order first issued under former President Donald Trump’s administration, allows Customs and Border Protection to rapidly expel migrants to Mexico or back to their home countries to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in holding facilities.
A court ordered the administration to end the measure, which began at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it was implemented, Title 42 has been used to expel migrants more than 2.4 million times.
More:With Title 42 ending near, Border Patrol braces for rush at US-Mexico border. Here’s what we know.
Biden is expected to discuss migration policies with Lasso. Lasso has been key to helping grant temporary protected status to Venezuelans.
According to Kirby, Lasso has been “setting an example in the region on migration.”
Reach Rebecca Morin at Twitter @RebeccaMorin_
Story Credit: usatoday.com