Border Crisis

Biden’s Secret Border Deal with Mexico Could Leave Border Open for Years

Mexico and the United States will hold presidential elections within the same calendar year for the first time in more than two decades. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s willingness to crack down on migrant crossings may have more to do with securing an election victory for U.S. President Joe Biden and his own ruling Morena political party than securing the border. A temporary pause in migration designed to ensure a November win for the Democrats in the United States and a June win for AMLO’s Morena party candidate, Claudia Sheinbaum, could keep the border wide open for years to come.

A 2024 win for both Sheinbaum and President Biden in the near-simultaneous elections would also benefit Mexico’s violent cartels, who profit from the lax national security posture present in both countries. A victory for Sheinbaum, who shares AMLO’s stance on dealing with Mexican cartels with “hugs, not bullets,” will likely spell a continuation of the cartel’s ability to continue flooding the United States with fentanyl and other narcotics if paired with a Biden victory.

Sheinbaum, who maintains a substantial lead in the latest polling in Mexico, also shares AMLO’s lax attitude on migration and has offered no significant solution to the cartel violence plaguing most states in Mexico. A temporary reduction in border migration, although counter to previous actions in Mexico, could be the small sacrifice necessary for Mexican Morena Party and U.S. Democratic Party victories this year.

The effects of the under-the-radar Biden/AMLO border plan have been visible in Texas border cities. According to a source within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, apprehensions along the Texas border have dropped by 60 percent between December and February. As reported by Breitbart Texas, the sudden reduction in migrant crossings along the Texas-Mexico border began shortly after a series of meetings between Biden and AMLO in late December, followed by a meeting between the Mexican President and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas shortly afterward.

In short order, significant deployments of Mexican National Guard personnel and an influx of Mexico’s National Institute of Migration officers quickly rounded up migrants in northern border cities. Migrants were flown and bused from Mexican border cities near Texas to cities in southern Mexico and, for some, to their home countries.

On the United States side in Texas, the Biden administration quietly began expediting the adjudication of asylum cases, prioritizing recently arrived migrants to ensure their quick removal from the United States. The Trump-like move significantly decreased the number of migrants released into the United States to await asylum case adjudication.

The sudden willingness to curb illegal migration by the Biden Administration and the AMLO government may be designed to diminish the focus of potential voters on immigration issues by eliminating the visual of thousands of migrants crossing the border daily in Texas, witnessed as recently as December. According to a Harvard CAPS-Harris poll released in January, a preponderance of likely voters signaled immigration as their top concern, beating out inflation, with 35 percent of respondents choosing immigration over 32 percent who cited inflation as the leading concern.

Immigration issues may also concern the more than 12 million residents in the United States currently eligible to vote by mail in Mexico’s presidential election in June. AMLO’s government has encouraged those expatriates living in the United States to exercise their right to vote through messaging campaigns conducted by Consular offices across the southwest border. Although the participation in the last presidential election for voters in this category was less than 100,000, AMLO and members of his Morena political party hope to exceed this amount in 2024.

Sheinbaum stands to make history if her lead holds and she successfully replaces AMLO after the June election. She would be the first woman to hold the presidency in Mexico and on the North American continent. Recently, as the Head of Government in Mexico City, a position equivalent to a state governor, Sheinbaum was the first female to hold that position. As an environmental engineer with a Ph.D. from Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM), Sheinbaum has advocated for sustainable energy changes in Mexico.

Like AMLO, Sheinbaum’s political leaning is liberal and includes the belief that a government should provide or promote a citizen’s right to education, housing, employment, and health care. She has thus far remained silent concerning the difference in her stance on energy policies and climate change, which is more liberal than her current ruling party’s. In 2022, Sheinbaum became the first Head of the Government of Mexico City to march in the city’s LGBTQ Pride parade.

Despite Sheinbaum’s sizeable lead in the latest polling in Mexico, a victory in June is far from a done deal. Elections in Mexico declare the winner of the presidential race to be the candidate with the highest total of popular votes amongst the candidates seeking election. With several competing political parties, a candidate can win the presidency with less than a clear majority. In Mexico’s 2012 election, PRI candidate Enrique Pena Nieto secured the presidency with just 39 percent of the popular vote due to the number of opposition candidates splitting the overall vote.

In another development that may indicate some consternation with Sheinbaum’s ruling party, nearly 100,000 people in Mexico City protested the AMLO government on Sunday. The protest, organized by opposition parties, called for fair elections, denounced cartel violence plaguing Mexico, and criticized widescale corruption in the country.

The Biden/AMLO plan to reduce migrant crossing may be too little, too late to secure a victory for Democrats as well. A February Monmouth University poll shows 76 percent of Americans disapprove of Biden’s immigration record compared to a mere 26 percent who approved.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

 

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