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Mexico agrees to invest $1.5B in 'smart' border technology

Kamala Harris, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Posted at 3:52 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 17:52:32-04

Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador has agreed during meetings with President Joe Biden to spend $1.5 billion to improve "smart" border technology.

It's a move the White House says shows neighborly cooperation succeeding where the Trump administration's vow to wall off the border and have Mexico pay for it could not.

A person familiar with a series of agreements signed after the two leaders met on Tuesday says they also called for expanding the number of work visas the U.S. issues and welcoming more refugees. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the agreement hadn't been formally announced.

FILE - President Joe Biden meets with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Nov. 18, 2021. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will visit Washington Tuesday, July 12, 2022, to meet with President Joe Biden, a month after López Obrador snubbed Biden's invitation to the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The agreements came hours after the meetings began with López Obrador offering more than half an hour worth of comments. He touched on everything from Americans heading south for cheaper prices at the pump at Mexican gas stations to the New Deal politics of Franklin Delano Roosevelt while chiding conservatives and saying the U.S. and Mexico should reject the “status quo” on the border.

As the Associated Press reported, López Obrador said both countries “should close ranks to help each other” amid spiking inflation and border challenges brutally underscored by 53 migrants who died last month after being abandoned in a sweltering tractor-trailer on a remote back road in San Antonio.