Unlike the Trump administration, the Biden administration has been heavily dependent upon Mexico regarding the southern border. In exchange for their help, Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador issued a long list of demands.
In a press conference on Friday, Lopez Obrador ordered that the U.S. pay $20 billion to Latin American and Caribbean countries, stop the blockade of Cuba, end sanctions on Venezuela, and give work visas to 10 million Hispanics who have worked in the U.S. for at least ten years.
With the election this year, Biden knows that he has to get control over the southern border, but it is unclear if he will accept Lopez Obrador’s demands.
According to one Mexican official, Mexico is willing to help the U.S. by increasing law enforcement at the border, but the amount of officers has not been discussed as of yet. Both the U.S. and Mexico have started deportation flights of Venezuelans.
One of Biden’s senior administration officials released a statement to NBC in response to Mexico’s demands, stating that Lopez Obrador “has a very ambitious agenda. For some of these things, we would need Congress to act. We share the vision that we need to lift up the region.”
While some politicians might consider giving into Mexico’s demands to help secure the southern border, one politician strongly objected.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) addressed the issue on X, posting “ransom.”
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) January 9, 2024
He also announced his opinion on the Senate floor. While he did not directly address Mexico’s demands, he did criticize the Biden administration’s handling of the border, calling illegal immigration an “unmitigated disaster.”
“In some places, the President’s request was bloated. In others, it was wholly insufficient. And large portions of the bill, especially those related to the border, would actually make the problem worse,” said Cornyn. “The Senate cannot and will not rubber stamp the President’s supplemental funding request. There’s no chance. Instead, we need to be in the process of working through a bill that can deliver real, actionable results.”
Democrats and Republicans have been attempting to negotiate security measures for the border for the past two months but have not come up with an agreement.