Mexican president blackmails Biden over the border

By Andrew R. Arthur on March 27, 2024

New York Post, March 27, 2024

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador — popularly known as AMLO — sat down for an interview Sunday with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” and made clear he controls a US southern border that has largely been abandoned by the Biden administration.

It’s a position this country should never be in.

AMLO started by describing his candid conversations with then-President Donald Trump over Trump’s signature immigration issue, the “wall,” a point of disagreement in an otherwise productive cross-border relationship.

He implicitly contrasted that with urgent pleas the Biden administration made in late December, seeking Mexico’s help to stem a rush of nearly 250,000 migrants over the border into the United States that month.

AMLO explained the administration begged him to “control the flow of migration” north, to which he responded by cracking down on illegal entries through that country’s southern border and making entreaties to other regional presidents for help curbing migrant departures from their countries.

It worked, and illegal entries dropped by 50% in January (a slow travel month traditionally), but as AMLO noted, “that is a short-term solution, not a long-term one.”

Apprehensions jumped again in February.

He didn’t do any of it out of the kindness of his heart, however.

Instead, he expects the United States to reciprocate by sending $20 billion annually in taxpayer cash to Latin America and the Caribbean to address so-called “root causes” of migration (commonly identified as some mix of poverty, crime, corruption and “climate change”), lifting sanctions on Venezuela’s socialist government — and granting amnesty to “millions of law-abiding Mexicans living in the US.”

What if those demands aren’t met?

As per AMLO: “The flow of migrants will continue.”

He declined, naturally, to refer to this as “diplomatic blackmail,” claiming instead that he was “speaking frankly” because “we have to say things as they are — and I always say what I feel.”

While AMLO did claim he’d continue to help to secure our border even if the administration doesn’t comply with his terms, that response was half-hearted and tentative, at best.

AMLO knows he has the upper hand when it comes to illegal migration.

One cannot blame Mexico’s populist president for using the leverage President Biden has given him over border security to squeeze concessions like mass amnesty and lavish foreign aid out of the United States.

That’s because in a break with every prior administration, the current one steadfastly refuses to use the powers Congress has given it to deter migrants and control illegal entries.

Prosecutions for “improper entry” have plummeted, and in lieu of detaining illegal migrants as Congress requires, Biden’s Department of Homeland Security has released more than 3.4 million aliens encountered at the southern border into the country.

They’ll remain here indefinitely (if not forever), all while receiving government-funded food, housing and education for their children.

Simply put, if President Biden’s putting out the welcome mat, why shouldn’t President López Obrador expect something in return for slowing the flow of migrants coming illegally to accept that invitation?

Biden has sweetened the pot already, ushering in tens of thousands of Mexicans who scheduled appointments using the CBP One app through the ports since January 2023.

None had visas, and Congress didn’t give them any right to come here, but all are now free to live and work in the United States — all through executive fiat.

What other concessions does the administration have in store?

There’s no way to tell, but AMLO plainly knows he has a desperate president on the ropes at the southern border.