Biden Looks to Mexico for Help, Gets Shaken Down
After sabotaging every existing cooperation agreement with nations south of our borders, President Biden is desperately pleading with Mexico to do more to curb the flow of migrants marching north.
Everything that President Biden and his Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have done over the past three years indicates that this administration does not see mass illegal immigration as a problem.
In fact, it is a design feature of the policies they have put in place. But the record levels of sustained illegal immigration present a huge political problem for the president in an election year. Polling indicates that the border crisis is one of Biden’s weakest areas with the public.
Out of desperation, Biden dispatched Mayorkas and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to Mexico City in late December to see if they could convince President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to do something about slowing the flow of migrants from some 170 different countries who are using Mexico as a conduit to the U.S. border. Sensing the upper hand, Lopez Obrador smiled and demanded astounding concessions for any cooperation.
In true form, AMLO (as he is called) demanded the U.S. give $20 billion for Central American countries and 10 million amnesty visas for aliens who have worked in the U.S. for ten years in exchange for helping the U.S. curb the flow of illegal migrants pouring into the U.S. The president of Mexico also demanded the Biden administration lift sanctions to reward communist Cuba and Venezuela.
Of course, there is no guarantee that paying what Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) described as “ransom,” would have the desired effect. Mexican voters are about to elect a new president of their own on June 2, and Lopez Obrador will be out of office by September 30.
Ironically, much of the cooperation that Mayorkas and Blinken were seeking from the Mexican government was already in place on the day Joe Biden came to office. Most notably, President Biden canceled the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, that was effectively deterring migrants from all over the world from using Mexico as a gateway to the U.S. Under MPP, migrants were required to enter an asylum application before entering the U.S. and had to demonstrate that there was a valid claim to pursue before being allowed to cross the border.
With MPP gone, Lopez Obrador also abandoned other forms of binational cooperation. He disbanded anti-cartel units within the police, refused to share drug seizure data with the U.S., urged Washington not to launch anti-cartel activities, and simply dismissed U.S. concerns when challenged about the strength of the cartels under his watch, even as deaths from narcotics crossing the border have resulted in tens of thousands of U.S. deaths each year.
MPP did not cost American taxpayers a dime. Under the previous administration, the arrangement was struck based on mutual interests. On the Mexican side, the interest was to prevent the imposition of tariffs on goods shipped to the U.S. In 2022, Mexico exported $493.1 billion in goods and services to the U.S. and enjoyed a $131.1 billion trade surplus with the United States. When the United States has, on several occasions in the past few months, closed legitimate cross-border traffic, temporarily halting Mexican products from entering the U.S., it harms Mexico’s economic interests as much as our own.
Cooperation with Mexico and other governments would certainly be helpful in ending the disastrous border crisis that has raged for the past three years. But this cooperation is not reliable. The crisis was created by the Biden administration and it could end it under current law – if it wanted to. So long as the United States provides incentives for people to come here illegally the crisis will endure.
At FAIR, we believe the United States should control its own border and its own destiny. Relying on other countries to do what is ultimately our nation’s essential components of defense and safety is a sign of weakness and a fool’s errand.