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Joe Biden will be joined by first lady on his trip to Mexico City


First lady Jill Biden will join President Joe Biden on his trip next week to Mexico City, according to the White House.

Biden has a “substantive, independent schedule which will focus on our shared cultural connections and her work to empower women and girls around the world,” the first lady’s press secretary, Vanessa Valdivia, told CNN on Saturday.

The announcement comes ahead of the president’s first visit as commander in chief to Mexico, where he will discuss migration issues with the country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as well as with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City. On the way, Biden plans to visit the US southern border on Sunday, stopping in El Paso, Texas, to meet local officials and address border security issues. It will be his first stop at the border as president.

El Paso began seeing record levels of migrant arrivals beginning a few weeks ago, when anxiety about the scheduled end of the Trump-era pandemic public health rule known as Title 42 prompted thousands of migrants to turn themselves in to border authorities or to cross into the United States illegally in a very short period of time.

Title 42 allows immigration authorities to swiftly return some migrants to Mexico. The policy was scheduled to lift last month, but a Supreme Court ruling kept the rule in place while legal challenges play out in court.

On Thursday, Biden announced he is expanding a program to accept up to 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela – along with a plan to expel as many migrants from those countries who circumvent US laws – as his administration confronts the migrant surge at the southern border.

Jill Biden departs Sunday for Mexico City and will meet the president when he arrives after his visit to the border.

Highlights of the first lady’s solo agenda include joining local students at a Tochito NFL flag football game. On Monday, Biden will join Mexican first lady Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller for a “Fandango por la Lectura” at the Palacio Nacional, an event to raise awareness about the importance of reading.

On Tuesday, the two women will meet again for a spousal luncheon, joined by Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of the Canadian prime minister. The three will later tour the Templo Mayor, the main temple of the indigenous Mexica people in their capital city of Tenochtitlan in modern-day Mexico City.

Jill Biden will also participate in several events with her husband, the White House said.

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