Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador blamed President Biden for the migrant surge that has erupted into a full-blown border crisis, arguing the “expectations” he set left migrants with the perception that they would be let in the US.
López Obrador made the remarks while speaking to reporters Tuesday, the morning after his government met with Biden’s envoys for the region, who were visiting to address the record spikes in illegal border crossings.
“Expectations were created that with the government of President Biden there would be a better treatment of migrants. And this has caused Central American migrants, and also from our country, wanting to cross the border thinking that it is easier to do so,” he said at his daily morning presser.
López Obrador, a center-left populist who developed a positive working relationship with former President Trump, added: “People don’t go to the United States for fun, they go out of necessity.”
The comments are not the first critiques López Obrador has offered of Biden’s handling of the border, saying early this month, “They see [Biden] as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States.
“We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next.”
The Biden administration’s undoing of former President Donald Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that this president is inviting them to cross the border.
Insisting that the border was not facing a crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said earlier this month that the problems the agency faced should be blamed on the previous administration.
The data, however, overwhelmingly shows that migrants were flooding the border because they believed Biden would welcome them with open arms.
During his remarks Tuesday, the Mexican president also urged the US to spur economic development in the region, noting that it would help curb migration.
On Monday, members of his government met with White House southwest border coordinator Roberta Jacobson, alongside Juan Gonzalez, NSC senior director for the Western Hemisphere, and Ricardo Zuniga, the State Department’s newly appointed Northern Triangle special envoy.
The group, would “engage with Mexican government officials to develop an effective and humane plan of action to manage migration,” the administration said.
The National Security Council declined to comment when reached by The Post on the Mexican president’s remarks.
With Post wires