Cash for calm: AMLO eyes US billions to solve the border crisis

News & Politics

On Sunday night’s episode of “60 Minutes,” Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador — better known as AMLO — offered his plan for fixing America’s migration crisis. It’s quite simple. The United States simply should commit to providing $20 billion a year toward eliminating poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean; lift all sanctions, embargoes, etc. on Venezuela and Cuba; and grant amnesty to “law-abiding” Mexican illegal aliens.

You can’t make this stuff up. The rapidly failing state to our south is insisting that it is incumbent upon the United States to fix the migration problems that Mexico itself is causing. Because, let’s be frank, 85% of America’s border woes wouldn’t exist if Mexico refused to serve as the Yellow Brick Road for migrants seeking a new life in Yanqui territory.

AMLO needs to portray the United States as the source of both the push and pull factors that affect migration patterns.

This is nothing new. AMLO is just parroting the standard narrative that is popular among the anti-borders, globalist elite: Mexican, Central, and South American poverty and squalor have nothing to do with local greed, corruption, or incompetence. American capitalism and imperialism are responsible for all the bad stuff the developing South is experiencing. Therefore, the United States should provide massive infusions of hard cash that will magically transform deteriorating nations into well-run, democratic republics.

Once the American-financed utopia has been achieved, Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, etc., will never again want to leave home.

Sure. Anyone with a modicum of geopolitical savvy knows this is a house constructed entirely of sand and fog. Therefore, it might be tempting to dismiss AMLO’s low-rent, Mexican Marshall Plan as the type of political chicanery that only a charlatan from a Third World kleptocracy could produce. But much more is going on here than simply performative, political theater.

AMLO’s plan is an outright political deception operation.

Mexico, in fact, has no interest in seeing an end to the current border crisis. And that’s because Mexico’s economy is entirely dependent on U.S. dollars that migrants who have relocated to the United States send home to family and friends in the form of “remittance payments.”

In 2017, Mexicans residing in the U.S. sent approximately $30 billion south of the border. The Bank of Mexico reports that amount ballooned to $51.6 billion in 2021. That means that remittance payments are Mexico’s biggest source of foreign income — larger than oil and gas revenues, tourism earnings, and the export sale of manufactured goods.

If illegal migration into the United States were suddenly stopped and lawful migration were brought down to reasonable levels, Mexico would immediately experience a massive economic crisis that would make the Great Depression look like a $25 overdraft on a college student’s checking account.

AMLO, and whoever succeeds him when he leaves office in September,needs to ensure an uninterrupted flow of Mexican nationals headed out of the country. But it is a political mess of the highest order if you must admit that the country you run can only keep functioning if a hefty chunk of the local population regularly flees for territory where devil-worshipping drug cartels hold no political sway. So AMLO needs to portray the United States as the source of both the push and pull factors that affect migration patterns.

And the current U.S. administration also benefits from buying into this fiction. Although the White House is the sole source of the instant crisis and has about as much interest as Mexico does in solving the problem, it needs to give the impression that it is doing something to protect Americans and resolve the chaos along the Rio Grande.

In an effort to portray the last U.S. president as having employed “crude” and “racist” means to secure the border, the current denizen of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has decided to pitch himself as a master of grand strategy and great power politics. And the AMLO plan allows him to claim that he’s engaging in constructive migration diplomacy, through negotiations with our partner and neighbor, while he actually does everything in his power to ensure that any foreign nationals who want to can enter the United States illegally.

Accordingly, Obrador’s suggestions on how to fix the U.S.-Mexico border are a real-life version of “Wag the Dog.” They allow AMLO to cast himself as the champion of nations allegedly “victimized” by America such as Venezuela and Cuba, while simultaneously shilling for a special amnesty for Mexican illegal aliens. And if a U.S. administration happens to inject $20 billion into Latin America and the Caribbean, that’s just icing on the cake.

But nothing in the AMLO plan was ever intended to do anything to impede any migrants from crossing our southern border — and that’s just the way Mexico’s sanctimonious president wants it.

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