Joe Biden Begs, Threatens Mexico to Reduce Migrant Flood Before 2024 Election

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    AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

    President Joe Biden is demoting critical border negotiations with Republicans to, instead, conduct emergency border negotiations with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

    The diplomatic switch comes as Biden’s flood of several million illegal migrants is further damaging his 2024 poll ratings, and as GOP leaders are using their Senate clout to demand real border reforms.

    “Everything revolves around getting the Mexican government to do targeted operations” against the cartels’ migration business, one U.S. official told the Washington Post.

    Biden’s problem is that he “is refusing to enforce immigration law,” Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, noted, adding, “The [migration] numbers are unprecedented. The legacy media is starting to notice. … [So Biden] is begging Mexico for help to fix the problem instead of just using the [legal] tools he has to fix the problem right now.”

    Customs and Border Protection agents stand guard as immigrants wait to be processed at a US Border Patrol transit center after crossing the border from Mexico at Eagle Pass, Texas, on December 22, 2023. Faced with the daily arrival of thousands of migrants from Mexico, US states and federal border police are declaring themselves overwhelmed, a crisis that is exposing the Biden administration to heavy fire from its Republican opponents. In recent weeks, the border police have reported some 10,000 people crossing the border every day, an even faster pace than in previous months. The Republican governor of Texas signed a bill on December 18, 2023 that would allow state police to arrest and deport migrants who cross illegally into the United States from Mexico. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)

    The president’s outreach to Mexico is also complicating the high-profile U.S. negotiations between the White House and GOP senators. Democrats had included Biden’s pro-migration border chief — Alejandro Mayorkas — in the Senate talks. “We made sure Mayorkas was in the room,” the Democrats’ leader in the Senate, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said. “He’s very, very helpful. He knows the details,” Schumer told Politico:

    But Biden has diverted Mayorkas to the Mexico talks with Obrador.

    White House press aide John Kirby said in December 2021:

    President Biden has asked Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and White House Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall to travel to Mexico in coming days to meet with President López Obrador and his team to discuss further actions that can be taken together to address current border challenges.

    The mission to Mexico is expected to take place on December 27. Senate negotiations are supposed to conclude by January 8.

    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas attends a press conference at a temporary Customs and Border Protection processing center on May 7, 2021, in Donna, Texas. A surge of immigrants, including unaccompanied minors crossing into the United States from Mexico is overcrowding such centers in south Texas (Go Nakamura/Getty Images).

    Mayorkas’s trip to Mexico also muddies the Democrats’ PR claim that the Capitol Hill negotiations are urgently needed for national security.

    Democrats make that claim because they are dangling military aid for Israel and Ukraine to the GOP in exchange for GOP approval of a special $14 billion fund to accelerate and hide the flow of Biden’s migrants into housing and jobs in American communities.

    But on December 7, all 49 Republican senators rejected the combination package pushed by Democrats and described the $14 billion fund as a “magnet” to help Biden’s deputies smuggle more illegal migrants into the United States:

    Before the vote, Schumer portrayed the drama in grandiose terms, saying, “This is a moment history will record. … Vladimir Putin is watching closely to see if the Senate will approve [aid] to Ukraine. Whether or not we approve an aid package will likely sway the outcome of the war.”

    Since the vote, the closed-door Senate talks have gone slowly. One big problem is that Democrats are determined to preserve Mayorkas’s quasi-legal “parole pipeline” through the border. Agency data suggests he is using the side door to sneak roughly 117,000 foreigners per month into Americans’ communities.

    Biden’s sudden switch to Mexico is not surprising, Krikorian said. “Notwithstanding the other emergencies around the world, this [border crisis] is the political emergency that’s most pressing for the White House,” Krikorian noted.

    “The President had a chance this morning to speak by phone with President López Obrador of Mexico,” Kirby said on Thursday. “They had a chance to talk about ongoing efforts to manage the unprecedented migratory flows in the Western Hemisphere.”

    Mexico’s economy gains wealth from the cartels’ business of smuggling drugs and migrants into the United States. The migrant flood is tolerated — and often orchestrated — by corrupt Mexican officials and police. Mexico’s government also wants to avoid a bloody war with the heavily armed cartels. Also, Obrador has repeatedly said he favors migration into the United States.

    But Obrador has the power to sharply reduce migration — at least until June 2024, when his term ends.

    Meanwhile, Biden and his deputies are watching his poll numbers drop as the public sees the migrant flood on their televisions and in their streets.

    Migration is deeply unpopular because it damages ordinary Americans’ career opportunities, cuts their wages, and raises their rents. It also reduces their productivity, shrinks their political clout, widens regional wealth gaps, and wrecks their democratic, equality-promoting civic culture. The economic shock also pushes Americans into poverty, drug use, and homelessness:

    To get Obrador’s attention, U.S. officials shut down some of the railroads that bring Mexico’s trade products into the United States. The Washington Post reported:

    U.S. farm groups, the rail companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are urging the Biden administration to reopen the crossings as soon as possible. Train operator Union Pacific said that the two crossings account for 45 percent of all cross-border rail commerce and that the shutdowns are inflicting losses of $200 million per day in wages, goods and transportation costs.

    Border officials portray the shutdowns as caused by a shortage of border officers, not as retaliatory sanctions against Mexico’s government.

    But White House spokesman Kirby suggested on December 21 that the trade curbs are intended to force Mexico to regulate the inflow to a manageable level: “The two leaders agreed that additional enforcement actions [in Mexico] are urgently needed so that key ports of entry [the railoroads] can be reopened across our shared border.”

    If true, Biden is now imposing trade sanctions on Mexico to curb election-year migration — even though Biden and his deputies have insisted since 2021 that they are doing all they can to curb migration. Also, Biden has not used trade sanctions on Mexico for a reduction in the supply of the deadly drugs that are killing 70,000 Americans each year.

    On Friday, Obrador said he is willing to make a deal if the U.S. accepts leftist dictators in Venezuela and Cuba, according to a Reuters report on December 22:

    “We are going to help, as we always do,” López Obrador said. “Mexico is helping reach agreements with other countries, in this case Venezuela.”

    “We also want something done about the [U.S.] differences with Cuba,” López Obrador said. “We have already proposed to President Biden that a U.S.-Cuba bilateral dialogue be opened.”

    “That is what we are going to discuss, it is not just contention,” he said at his daily morning press briefing.

    There is much evidence that U.S. officials already have a quiet and limited agreement with Mexico. The deal likely requires Mexico to prevent sudden migration surges, for example, by directing migrant flows to isolated border crossings far from U.S. towns and television cameras.

    The U.S. part of the deal is unclear. But since June 2023, U.S. officials have quietly and inexplicably admitted roughly 17,000 Mexican migrants per month via the gateways operated by the Mayorkas Office of Field Operations.

    Obrador can use migration to cause pain to Biden, Krikorian said. In 2021, for example, he allowed approximately 30,000 migrants — mostly Haitians — to rush across the Del Rio crossing in Texas. That short-lived drama made the evening news, damaged Biden’s ratings, and prompted a dramatic airlift deportation of Haitians back to Haiti.

    “We’re two big countries with a lot of entanglements and that means there’s also a lot of ways we can apply pressure on each other and make each other’s lives miserable,” Krikorian said about U.S.-Mexican diplomacy.

    The same strategy — using migration to win concessions — is commonplace around the world, Krikorian noted. For example, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, repeatedly threatens to send poor and hostile Muslim migrants into Europe unless Turkey gets payoffs. “This is called ‘Weapons of mass migration,’ where you essentially have Third World countries using migration against First World countries,” Krikorian said.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Vladimir Smirnov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    Many American liberals and progressives are unwilling to admit that Mexico’s hard-nosed and rational government can use migration to extract benefits from the United States, he said, adding:

    The Democratic narrative is that this [migration] is caused by poverty and disorder and climate change, and it’s just something that’s happening and we all have to work together with “Further hemispheric solution, Blah, blah, blah.” They actually believe this stuff. They can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the fact that these countries are using migration against us, and they’re using our unwillingness to control our own borders against us.

    “If you’re a small, poor country in the shadow of a large, powerful, wealthy country, you’re going to use whatever tools are available to assert your interests,” he added.

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