Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was scathingly critical of Joe Biden’s immigration agenda, suggesting that Biden’s reputation as the “Migrant President” was leading to an influx of illegal immigrants into Mexico on their way to the United States.
President López Obrador addressed Biden’s immigration policies after a virtual meeting between the two Presidents, noting that these policies had encouraged increased attempts by migrants to enter the U.S. illegally.
“They see him as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States,” President López Obrador said, according a report by Reuters. “We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next.”
Internal Mexican government assessments delved deeper into this point, concluding that Biden’s administration was effectively trying to “incentivize migration” into the United States, and these policies were being welcomed by criminal gangs involved in cross-border trafficking networks.
The Biden policies described as particularly problematic were his streamlining of the migrant legalization process, his end to Trump’s deportations to Central America, and his lenient policies towards any “victims of gangs and violence”. An unnamed Mexican official stated that Mexican criminal networks ramped up their activity “from the day Biden took office”.
According to data acquired by Reuters, illegal entries to the U.S. this February were the highest for that month of the year in 15 years. In response to these massive waves of Latin American immigration bound for the United States, Mexico is considering building its own wall on its southern border.
“Mexico spends more on every new wave of migrants than that would cost,” a Mexican government official said. “We have to do it.”
The Biden administration has made a dedicated attempt to roll back Trump’s agenda on every front. Nowhere is this more visible than on immigration, where Trump policies were largely implemented by executive action.