US-Mexico border is a major crossing point for migrants fleeing poverty, drug-related violence and other woes in Mexico and Central America.
US President-elect Joe Biden and Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador agreed in a call to work on a "new approach" to regional migration issues in Central America.
Biden's office said on Sunday that the two leaders have committed to work on a humane strategy to regional migration by addressing its root causes in Central America and southern Mexico.
Biden and Obrador said they shared a desire to address the reasons for migration in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and southern Mexico.
A new approach
Biden pledged to build "the regional and border infrastructure and capacity needed to facilitate a new orderly and humane approach to migration that will respect international norms regarding the treatment of asylum claims," the statement from Biden's team said.
Earlier this week Lopez Obrador suggested the two neighbors under Biden's new Democratic administration work together on the thorny issue of immigration.
Republican President Donald Trump's unprecedented demands that the Mexican government do more to reduce the flow of US -bound migrants, including harboring migrants in Mexico while they wait for their US court dates and paying for a border wall, caused friction in the relationship.
Biden emphasised the need to reinvigorate US -Mexico cooperation on migration as well as the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy and border security.
"We reaffirmed our commitment to working together for the well-being of our peoples and nations," Lopez Obrador said on Twitter.
Desde el histórico ayuntamiento de Valladolid, Yucatán, he conversado por teléfono con el presidente electo de Estados Unidos, Joseph Biden. Reafirmamos el compromiso de trabajar juntos por el bienestar de nuestros pueblos y naciones. pic.twitter.com/SFAZR9H0NP— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) December 20, 2020
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted: "There will be extensive bilateral cooperation and a very good relationship between the presidents of Mexico and the United States."
A Mexican government source told Reuters that Biden and Lopez Obrador also spoke about investment for development and respect for the Mexican community in the United States.
Obrador and his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, finally congratulated Biden only after the Electoral College vote confirmed his victory.
The two were the last major Latin American leaders to send congratulations. Both Lopez Obrador and Bolsonaro were seen as friendly to Trump.
Obrador said he intentionally waited until the Electoral College vote before writing to Biden. The brief letter contained an implicit warning against getting involved in Mexico’s internal affairs.