On Thursday, President Biden hosted a meeting with his regional counterparts, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico. No doubt, the three leaders had many important things to talk about: Soaring inflation, runaway energy costs, COVID, supply chain snarls, climate change, to name just a few.
Oddly, the border crisis was not on the list. “There’s not a real focus, this time around, on our borders,” an unnamed administration official said leading up to the talks. When reporters asked about the Remain in Mexico policy, the official said that “it’s not actually one of the themes or focuses of [the meetings].”
1.7 million people were apprehended last year coming across the border from Mexico, with no sign of abatement, and that is “not a real focus” of discussion when Joe Biden sits down face to face with the president of Mexico? And it is not as though immigration didn’t come up at all at the trilateral summit. President Lopez Obrador found time to give Biden kudos for his efforts to enact a sweeping illegal alien amnesty (because apparently, the president of Mexico is not shy about weighing in on a domestic U.S. policy).
“President Biden, no president in the history of the United States has expressed as you have such a clear and certain commitment to improve the situation of the migrants and thus I wish to express my acknowledgment,” Lopez Obrador commended. “And I particularly refer to your proposal to regulate the migratory status of 11 million people who live and work honestly in this great nation. I hope that you have the support of Congress and the members of both Democrat and Republican parties.” In fact, Lopez Obrador wants our border open even wider. “Why not study the workforce demands, the labor demands and open the migratory flow?” he added.
For his part, President Biden urged his Mexican counterpart to join him in a “joint investment” to “address together the root causes of migration in Central America.” Somehow I doubt the “joint investment” will be a 50-50 arrangement, or that any of us will live long enough to see poverty, corruption and crime eradicated in the sending nations.
It is hard to sympathize with Vice President Kamala Harris. But given that her boss does not think that the border crisis should be “a real focus” of discussion with the president of Mexico, perhaps she and her political allies have a point that the president is setting her up to fail.