Mexico Requests Amnesty For 10 Million Immigrants In Border Deal

Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador presented an extensive list of requirements outlining the terms for the U.S. to secure Mexico’s cooperation in controlling the influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Lopez Obrador articulated these demands during a press conference on Friday, following his meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Mexico City in late December. During this meeting, U.S. officials sought increased Mexican assistance in curbing illegal immigration.

In response, Lopez Obrador insisted that the U.S. provide $20 billion in aid to Latin American and Caribbean nations, issue work visas to 10 million Hispanics who have been employed in the U.S. for a minimum of 10 years, lift sanctions against Venezuela and cease the blockade against Cuba.

These negotiations are occurring during a pivotal period for President Biden, whose approval ratings regarding illegal immigration have consistently been low during his time in office. Additionally, the U.S. experienced a significant influx of migrants at the border recently, with approximately 240,000 monthly migrant encounters recorded at the border in late 2023.

A senior official within the Biden administration addressed these requests in a statement provided to NBC News, acknowledging that Lopez Obrador “has put forth an ambitious agenda. However, for certain aspects of these requests, congressional action would be required. We are aligned in our belief that we must uplift the region.”

Lopez Obrador has demonstrated a readiness to engage in disputes with U.S. policymakers on immigration-related matters. Just last month, he entered into a conflict with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) concerning one of the new immigration laws enacted in the state.

The newly enacted law permits law enforcement to apprehend undocumented immigrants, presenting them with the option to either depart the U.S. voluntarily or potentially face misdemeanor charges for unlawful entry. Those who do not adhere to this choice may be subject to re-arrest, with the possibility of more severe felony charges. Abbott stated that the legislation is designed to combat a substantial surge of unauthorized immigration often referred to as a “tidal wave.”

Lopez Obrador said, “The Texas governor acts that way because he wants to be the Republican vice presidential candidate and wants to win popularity with these measures. He’s not going to win anything. On the contrary, he is going to lose support because there are a lot of Mexicans in Texas, a lot of migrants.”

The Mexican Foreign Ministry had previously lodged a grievance against Texas concerning the installation of buoys by the state in the Rio Grande. Additionally, they attempted to draw a connection between the buoys and the unfortunate deaths of two migrants in the river.

Back in July, Lopez Obrador encouraged Hispanic voters to withhold their support for Abbott in direct response to his stance regarding the buoys.