Mexico Makes ‘Ambitious’ Demands In Exchange For Border Assistance

As President Joe Biden faces bipartisan pressure to address the nation’s southern border crisis, the White House has announced a few measures apparently aimed at appeasing the most critics without necessitating substantial steps like those being proposed by Republican lawmakers.

Instead of heeding the recommendations of American officials who are dealing with the record level of illegal immigration on a daily basis, the Biden administration is reportedly hoping to secure assistance from Mexico to stem the flow of migrants across the shared border.

Following a meeting late last year between Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and top Biden officials, the former has publicly called for a major concession from the White House in exchange for his country’s help.

In a statement on Friday, Lopez Obrador demanded not only $20 billion in funding for a host of countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, but also sought an end to U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Cuba as well as de facto amnesty for 10 million or more undocumented migrants currently residing in the U.S.

He signaled some of these requests in a statement ahead of last month’s meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other U.S. officials.

“We are going to help, as we always do,” the Mexican president declared at the time.

“Mexico is helping reach agreements with other countries, in this case Venezuela. We also want something to be done about the [U.S.] differences with Cuba. 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.”

One White House official cited by NBC News called the Mexican president’s demands “ambitious,” explaining that not all of them could be addressed by executive action alone.
“For some of these things, we would need Congress to act,” the source added. “We share the vision that we need to lift up the region.”

Additional meetings between officials from the U.S. and Mexico are set to continue in coming weeks, with Mexican authorities indicating their belief that they have the upper hand in ongoing negotiations.