The United States and Mexico vowed on Friday to "work together" to resolve the migration crisis, resuming urgent high-level talks against a backdrop of election-year pressure for the Biden administration to take tougher measures.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was hosting Mexican counterpart Alicia Barcena just three weeks after he made his own visit to Mexico, said the two sides had made "great progress" in the short time since then.

Blinken told reporters the work of "reducing the unprecedented irregular migration surge" should get a boost from the recent inauguration of social-democrat Bernardo Arevalo as president of Guatemala, home of many of the migrants trekking northward.

"We will continue to work together develop regional solutions to the historic challenges that we face," he said.

US President Joe Biden has been working to project a firm stance on immigration as Republicans in Congress demand more action to stem the migrant influx, while threatening to cancel US aid for Ukraine's fight against Russian invasion as leverage.

Biden agrees the US immigration system is "broken" and says he is ready to make concessions on toughening up controls at the southern border.

However, it is not clear whether right-wing Republicans controlling the party's narrow majority in the House of Representatives will be willing to compromise on hardline demands.

Former president Donald Trump, who hopes in November to avenge his 2020 loss to Biden, is campaigning heavily on anti-immigrant sentiment, saying the new arrivals are "poisoning the blood of our country."

Blinken, during his Mexico visit on December 27, met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who later said "important agreements" had been reached.

Mexico will hold its own presidential and local elections in June.

No formal policy announcements were expected from the session Friday at the State Department.

US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Biden's homeland security advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall were also taking part in the talks.

The US and Mexican officials were expected to discuss "how it's working operationally between our two governments, what's working, how we can adjust," a senior administration official told journalists, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Friday's talks were also to cover the situation in Guatemala and in the Darien jungle between Colombia and Panama, where northbound migrants face treacherous conditions, the US official said.

A record 520,000 migrants, including 120,000 minors, last year crossed through the Darien jungle en route to the United States, according to the Panamanian government.

Unregulated migration to the United States reached a record level last year.

From October 2022 to September 2023, nearly 2.5 million migrants crossed the border from Mexico into the United States, according to US border police.

The length of the nearly 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) border has made it difficult for US authorities to stem the flow of migrants, many of them escaping violence or poverty in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Cuba or Venezuela.