Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador lectured President Biden for a solid 31 minutes on Tuesday over illegal immigration and how the U.S. should “regularize” migrants living and working in this country.
Lopez Obrador said that Biden had to take stronger steps on immigration even though conservatives would be “screaming all over the place.”
“It is indispensable for us to regularize and give certainty to migrants that have for years lived and worked in a very honest manner, and who are also contributing to the development of this great nation,” Lopez Obrador told Biden.
“I know that your adversaries, the conservatives, are going to be screaming all over the place, even to heaven — they are going to be yelling at heaven,” he commented concerning the anticipated response from Republicans.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
The humiliating lecture took place in the Oval Office where the Mexican president rattled off recommendations on illegal immigration amid the catastrophe at the southern border. He recommended that Biden increase temporary work visas to stave off a labor shortage.
The Mexican leader skipped the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles in June because Biden would not invite dictators to the meeting and he apparently feels emboldened by his weakness when it comes to border issues among other things.
The New York Times noted, “The notability of Mr. López Obrador’s mere presence alongside Mr. Biden underscored how awkward an already complex relationship between the United States and Mexico has become. Mr. López Obrador skipped out on Mr. Biden’s Summit of the Americas last month after criticizing the United States for not inviting Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. He has also challenged the United States on energy policies, drug enforcement and the prosecution of Julian Assange.”
Lopez Obrador vowed to “start a campaign to tear down the Statue of Liberty” if Assange is “sentenced to the maximum penalty” in the United States.
He continued to give Biden “advice” on how to be president of the United States.
“But without a daring, bold program of development and well-being, it will not be possible to solve problems… it will not be possible to get the people’s support,” he told the president.
Extraordinary—AMLO has been speaking for 25 minutes in the Oval, offering Biden a lengthy soliloquy about the New Deal, gas prices and opportunities for greater economic collaboration. He is still going… pic.twitter.com/BznW29EdVv
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) July 12, 2022
“In the face of this crisis, the way out is not through conservatism, the way out is through transformation,” Lopez Obrador proclaimed. “We have to be bold in our actions.”
Immigration was the top subject discussed between the two leaders. Biden also addressed the scourge of fentanyl coming across the border as well as human trafficking.
“But as you know, Mr. President, we need every country in the region to join us in tracking this multi-billion dollar smuggling industry that’s preying on our most vulnerable, including the 53 souls who died in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio last month,” Biden told Lopez Obrador.
May hit a historic high with over 239,000 migrant encounters along the border. The number of migrants that will pass through Mexico on their way to the U.S. is likely to exceed those in 2021. More than 1.7 million migrants were encountered last year, according to Fox News.
The Biden administration has been touting the “root causes” of problems along the border including climate change, violence, and corruption in Central America. What it hasn’t been sufficiently focused on is stopping illegal immigration and Lopez Obrador doesn’t seem to want Biden to put an end to it either.
During the summit in June, the U.S. suggested more visas, more refugee resettlements, greater “reunification” programs, and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for humanitarian and development assistance for refugees and vulnerable migrants.
Lopez Obrador also took a poke at the president over gas prices, inviting Americans to come across the border and fill up their tanks for a $1 a gallon less than in the United States.
Most awkward part was when AMLO told Biden Mexico is letting Americans cross the border to buy gas because it’s $1 cheaper per gallon.
Biden, when he finally finished after 31 minutes, reminded him that the US economic growth is leading the world.
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) July 12, 2022
AMLO, who seldom passes an opportunity to poke Biden, mentions Americans living along the border have crossed into Mexico for gas at lower prices amid high prices in the U.S.
"Biden seemed to be suppressing a grin, looking straight ahead," per pooler @EliStokols.
— Zolan Kanno-Youngs (@KannoYoungs) July 12, 2022
“We have decided that it was necessary for us to allow Americans who live close to the border … [to] go and get their gasoline on the Mexican side at lower prices,” the Mexican president told Biden through a translator, according to the New York Post.
“And right now, a lot of drivers, a lot of Americans are going to Mexico to get their gasoline. We are committed to guaranteeing twice as much supply … And right now a gallon of regular costs $4.78 average on this [US] side of the border and on our territory, $3.12,” he claimed.
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