White House Says Border Crisis ‘Not a Real Focus’ at Summit with Mexico and Canada

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Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images, AP Photo/Eric Gay

The White House said President Joe Biden would not focus on the border crisis during the North American Leaders’ Summit on Thursday.

“There’s not a real focus, this time around, on our borders,” a senior White House official told reporters during a press briefing call previewing the summit.

The North American Leaders’ Summit, also known as the “Three Amigos” summit, will be hosted at the White House as Biden will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The White House official was asked about whether Biden would address the possibility of reactivating the Remain in Mexico to help stem the flow of migrants coming into the United States.

The official said the Remain in Mexico program was not going to be part of the meetings between Biden and Obrador.

“This won’t be a subject of the conversation tomorrow,” the official repeated.

The White House said there would be some discussion of the “root causes” of the economic conditions in Central American countries, calling it a “central pillar” of the Biden administrations strategy on border security.

“I think what you’ll find — which is a bit of a shift, I think, from in the past — is that the focus of the migration discussions are very much on what the three governments can do together outwardly in the region,” the official said.

The three leaders, the official noted, would discuss ways to “create more legal pathways,” for migrants and “increase access to protection” for them.

The official reminded reporters there were labor shortages in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, and that the leaders of all three countries could benefit from increased migration.

The White House also noted that they expected migration to continue because of climate change.

“You know, then we don’t expect these displacement challenges to go away; we know this is a region that’s impacted and will continue to be impacted by climate change,” the official said.

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