The United States is committed to strengthening its centuries-old partnerships, alliances and friendships with its northern and southern neighbors, Canada and Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
On February 26, Blinken took his first trip as secretary of state virtually to reaffirm the United States’ goals of “building back better” with the two countries.
The first stop on Blinken’s virtual trip was to the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, where he visited the port of entry in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
He reiterated the Biden administration’s commitment to reforming the immigration system and to ensuring safe, orderly and humane processing at all ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Many Americans are deeply concerned about border security. They’re worried about undocumented immigrations, and the flow of drugs, weapons, illicit cash,” Blinken explained to staff at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. “These issues are also serious concerns for the Mexican people. They demand serious solutions, which means effective solutions. And the Biden administration is committed to delivering them.”
In the meantime, Blinken discouraged anyone considering illegal migration from making the dangerous journey.
“To anyone thinking about undertaking that journey, our message is: Don’t do it,” he said. “We are strictly enforcing our immigration laws and our border security measures.”
Blinken also met with Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard and Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier to reaffirm the United States’ 200-year bilateral relationship with Mexico.
“I wanted to ‘visit,’ in quotation marks, Mexico first to demonstrate the importance that we attach, President Biden attaches, to the relationship between our countries,” Blinken said to Ebrard before their meeting.
In the second part of his virtual trip, Blinken met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and voiced America’s commitment to its northern neighbor.
On this leg of the tour, Blinken also spoke with Students on Ice, a Canadian educational organization that plans youth expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. He emphasized the Biden administration’s determination to preserve the Arctic as part of its broader commitment to address the climate crisis.
“The United States and Canada, of course, are Arctic nations,” he said. “And as you all know a lot better than I do, since the Arctic makes up about 40% of Canadian territory, it really is a unique and important place where we have a responsibility.”
Meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, the secretary stressed the goals of ending the pandemic and working together to renew U.S.-Canada relations.
“We know that every single day the work that we’re doing — but more importantly, the deep ties between our people in virtually every aspect of our societies — are benefiting both countries,” Blinken said to Garneau before their meeting.