Wednesday 31 January 2024

Mexican President Calls BS On Biden’s Promise To ‘Shut Down’ The Border

 Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed skepticism Monday in response to President Joe Biden’s promise to “shut down the border.”

Biden said over the weekend that he will “shut down” the U.S.-Mexico border if Congress passes a Democratic immigration bill that also includes military aid to Ukraine and Israel.

The Senate is currently negotiating the details of the bill, which reportedly implements a “mandatory shutdown” once 5,000 migrants are apprehended in a day.

During a Monday press conference, López Obrador slammed what he described as Biden’s “demagogic” attempts to shore up his dismal approval rating on immigration ahead of the 2024 presidential election. The Mexican president also predicted that Biden would reverse course after winning, according to NBC News.

“Why these propositions?” López Obrador said during a Monday press conference. “Because there are elections! Once the elections pass, there’s another agenda. But we, the Mexicans, need to recognize this background. Politically it’s time. We are in a special time, in Mexico and the United States.”

Biden said Saturday during a dinner in South Carolina that the bill would give him the “emergency power” to get the border “back under control.” 

“It would also give me, as president, the emergency authority to shut down the border until it can get back under control,” he said at the event. “If that bill were the law today, I’d shut down the border right now and fix it quickly.”

A former official with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) echoed López Obrador’s words, telling NBC News that the U.S. president’s words are purely political.

“You can’t shove back 8,000 migrants a day without the Mexicans’ approval,” the unnamed ex-official reportedly said. “What you would create is frantic surges in the weakened parts of the border.”

According to NBC, the bill would shut down the border if migrant encounters averaged 5,000 over a seven-day period or exceeded 8,500 in a single day. During a potential shutdown, 1,400 migrants would be permitted to legally cross through the ports of entry, and restrictions would remain in place until the number of crossings decreased below 75 percent of the amount that triggered the shutdown for at least a week, the outlet reported.

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Border Patrol agents currently process any migrant who crosses the southern border and releases about 85 percent of them with scheduled court dates, which require them to appear before an immigration judge to determine whether they will receive asylum or be deported.

Mexico has agreed to take back 30,000 migrants from Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua per month, though NBC notes that “many times that number are crossing into the U.S. from those countries.”

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Migrant apprehensions have soared from 400,651 migrants in the final fiscal year of former President Donald Trump’s administration to over 1.7 million in Biden’s first fiscal year in office, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Those numbers then spiked to 2.3 million in the 2022 fiscal year and 2.4 million in Fiscal Year 2023 and already top 785,000 in the 2024 fiscal year, which began in Oct. 2023.

Border agents apprehended a record-high number of nearly 300,000 migrants in December 2023.

House Speaker Mike Johnson told members of Congress on Friday that the bill will be “dead on arrival” once it reaches the House of Representatives, claiming that “the Senate’s pending proposal would expressly allow as many as 150,000 illegal crossings each month (1.8 million per year) before any new ‘shutdown’ authority could be used.”

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