Pressured by the migration crisis on the southern border, the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration is reportedly applying the same modus operandi of Donald Trump’s government: silently pressuring Mexico to stem the flow of migrants wishing to enter the United States.
It was in 2019 when Trump redoubled the pressure against the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), whom he urged to “do more.” On that occasion, in the framework of an agreement with Mexico, Washington agreed to the possibility of returning asylum seekers to that country while they awaited a decision on their cases.
Two years later, Biden, who was so critical of Trump’s immigration measures, is reportedly demanding that Mexico take in more expelled families and step up enforcement on its border with Guatemala.
A report by The New York Times revealed that Mexican officials and informed sources claim that a Trump measure prevails in the Democratic administration: “to rely on Mexico to contain a wave of people making their way to the United States.”
According to the Times, Biden -like Trump- asked AMLO if more could be done to help solve the problem.
It should be remembered that Trump threatened Mexico with an avalanche of tariffs if it did not help stop migration. After his departure, AMLO’s government relaxed the measures.
“The likelihood that the outgoing Trump administration would threaten tariffs again was low, so there was an incentive for Mexico to return to its default state of low apprehensions,” Adam Isacson, a border security expert at The Washington Office on Latin America, told the newspaper.
The NYT report coincides with a statement by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who said Tuesday that he was “working with Mexico to increase its capacity to receive expelled families.”
Another Biden contradiction
Biden has publicly stated that his administration will be more welcoming to migrants; however, he is now calling on Mexico to stop migration.
“All the positive humanitarian policies are being done by the Biden administration (…) and then the Mexicans are left with the dirty work,” Cris Ramon, a Washington-based immigration consultant, told the Times.
Another complaint coming out of Mexico is that according to local officials and shelter operators, “coordination between the two countries has broken down.”
“During the final years of the Trump administration, American officials would notify their Mexican counterparts before expelling migrants across the border and orchestrated the crossings at a handful of well-staffed border checkpoints,” they told the New York newspaper.
“Under the Biden administration, Customs and Border Patrol agents now deposit migrants at some of the most obscure and understaffed checkpoints, leaving their Mexican counterparts scrambling when they spot dozens of migrants walking from the United States,” it says.
Trump reacts and Biden holds him accountable for the migration crisis
This Tuesday, former President Donald Trump criticized what he considered a crisis on the border with Mexico under his successor’s administration. He warned that the situation will get worse.
“It’s a crisis like we’ve rarely had, and certainly never had on the border, but it’s going to get worse. I mean, what you’re seeing now are very bad record numbers, but it’s going to get much, much worse with a little bit of time, you’ll see those numbers expand to a level as we’ve never seen before,” he told Fox News.
Meanwhile, the White House blames the former president for the situation of migrant children at the border. At a press conference, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “We accept that this is a serious problem, but, as with other problems, the previous administration left us with a scattered and unenforceable immigration system. We’re going to do what we can to fix this problem.”
During the presidential campaign, both Biden and Vice President Harris were vocal opponents of the Trump administration’s immigration priorities. However, thousands of people have already been deported since the beginning of the Democratic administration.