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Ken Salazar, new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, arrives to prioritize migration, pandemic, security and climate change

Mexico City, Mexico — The new United States ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, arrived in Mexico Saturday, saying that migration, the pandemic, security and climate change will be his priorities.

“The United States and Mexico together are stronger because we unite the capacities, dreams and hopes of both peoples. I come to Mexico with pride in my Mexican roots and also in my American roots,” Salazar told the media at the Mexico City International Airport.

Salazar, who was sworn in before Vice President Kamala Harris on September 2, has yet to deliver his credentials to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with whom he hopes to meet soon.

The diplomat arrives while in the context of a historical migratory flow, with 147,000 irregular migrants detected in Mexico from January to August, triple that of 2020, and a record 212,000 migrants detained in July by the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) of the United States.

“I know that there are other things that are very important to all of us, (I will be) working to ensure that we have a migration system that works for the United States and also for Mexico,” Salazar acknowledged.

The diplomat also arrives at a time when the Mexican government is insisting on the reopening of the common border, closed to non-essential travel since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I know that we are also joining now with President López Obrador and the people of Mexico to ensure that together we are going to put this pandemic, which has been a global pandemic, that we, humans, are going to conquer this pandemic,” Salazar said.

The Democratic politician takes over the embassy replacing Christopher Landau, who had been appointed by Donald Trump in 2019, but left office in January when Joe Biden assumed the U.S. presidency.