Earlier this month, I wrote that President Joe Biden could make rapid progress toward addressing the border crisis he created by working with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in a cooperative fashion, just as Donald Trump did. AMLO has plenty of tools at his disposal that would allow him to significantly reduce the flow of migrants before they reach our doorstep. I’m not going to try to take credit for this latest development, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken is leading a delegation to Mexico today to do just that. Unfortunately, AMLO isn’t ready to issue a blank check to the Biden administration regarding this issue. He has some conditions that he plans to inform Blinken about, specifically the need for the US to work more closely with Cuba and Venezuela to shut down some of the flow of migrants at its primary sources. (Associated Press)
A top U.S. delegation is to meet with Mexico’s president Wednesday in what many see as a bid to get Mexico to do more to stem a surge of migrants reaching the U.S. southwestern border.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said he is willing to help, but also says he wants to see progress in U.S. relations with Cuba and Venezuela, two of the top senders of migrants, and more development aid for the region.
Both sides face strong pressure to reach an agreement after past steps like limiting direct travel into Mexico or deporting some migrants failed to stop the influx. This month, as many as 10,000 migrants were arrested daily at the southwest U.S. border.
The United States shouldn’t need to be approaching Mexico with our hat in our hands like beggars. We are not only Mexico’s most important trading partner, but they live under the defensive shield of our military, as does Canada. If we need help controlling illegal migration at the border, Mexico is obligated to cooperate. If they refuse to do so, we have significant retaliatory tools at our disposal, assuming we have a President strong enough to take those steps. (That’s a huge assumption these days, of course.)
Mexico’s “conditions” are also impractical at best. Yes, in an ideal world, it would be wonderful if Cuba and Venezuela were willing to clamp down on migrants heading our way. But we don’t exactly have a cozy relationship with Venezuela these days. We don’t even recognize their leader as the legitimate president of the country. And as for Cuba, they’re a bit busy helping the Chinese build a spy base in their country to lend us a hand.
Still, the accommodations that Blinken is seeking never should have been required in the first place. If he wants to lead a delegation somewhere he should be taking them to the White House or wherever Joe Biden is vacationing these days to speak directly to the President. Biden caused this crisis starting on his first day in office. He’s the one who opened the border and rolled out the red carpet for migrants from around the world to enter our country illegally. Are we suddenly expected to believe that he’s shocked by the results and wants to do something about it? This is what he wanted all along.
Joe Biden has had a set of solutions available to the crisis he created for his entire time in office. He could order the completion of the construction of the border wall today and the work could start almost immediately because the plans have been in place since Trump was in office. He could put the word out far and wide that our previous policy was an error and there is no more room at the inn, so anyone showing up without a visa will be sent back to their country of origin. Word gets around quickly in the migrant community, and if they believe that the gravy train is drying up, far fewer of them will risk making the trip.
But Joe Biden isn’t going to do any of that. He has no intention of shutting down the border crisis because he created it by design. He’s only putting on a show because his people have watched his poll numbers collapse over this and they are now terrified of losing power. It’s being reported that Blinken wants to offer “incentives” to Mexico in exchange for their cooperation. They already have plenty of incentives. We just lack a leader with the will to flex that sort of muscle.