Mexican president demands $20B, work permits for 10M Hispanics in exchange for immigration help

Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador issued a lengthy series of demands detailing what the U.S. must offer in exchange for Mexico’s help in stemming the flow of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border. Lopez Obrador’s demands came during a Friday press conference, which came roughly a week after he met with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Mexico City in late December. The U.S. officials requested that Mexico boost its assistance in stopping illegal immigration. Lopez Obrador responded by demanding the U.S. give $20 billion to Latin American and Caribbean countries, grant work visas to 10 million Hispanics who have worked in the U.S. for at least 10 years, end sanctions against Venezuela and halt the blockade of Cuba. The negotiations come at a critical time for President Biden, whose polling numbers on illegal immigration have been low throughout his presidency. The U.S. also suffered a surge of migrants at the border this fall, with roughly 240,000 monthly migrant encounters at the border in late 2023. MEXICO’S AMLO INTENSIFIES ANTI-GOP MEDDLING WITH NEW ATTACK ON TEXAS GOV ABBOTT A senior Biden administration official responded to those demands in a statement to NBC News, saying Lopez Obrador “has a very ambitious agenda. For some of these things, we would need Congress to act. We share the vision that we need to lift up the region.” Lopez Obrador has proven more than willing to challenge U.S. politicians on immigration issues. He picked a fight with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over one of that state’s new immigration laws last month. MIGRANT ENCOUNTERS AT BORDER SOAR PAST THE 200K MARK IN DECEMBER, WITH OVER A WEEK STILL TO GO The new legislation allows law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants who would then face the choice to leave the U.S. or be prosecuted on misdemeanor charges for illegal entry. Migrants who do not comply could face arrest again and more serious felony charges. Abbott said the bill aims to stop a “tidal wave” of illegal immigration. “The Texas governor acts that way because he wants to be the Republican vice presidential candidate and wants to win popularity with these measures,” Lopez Obrador said in late December. “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.” MEXICAN PRESIDENT RAMPS UP ANTI-REPUBLICAN RHETORIC, URGES HISPANICS NOT TO GIVE DESANTIS ‘ANY VOTES’ The Mexican Foreign Ministry also previously filed a complaint against Texas over the construction of buoys set up by the state in the Rio Grande. It had also sought to link the deaths of two migrants in the river to the buoys. In July, Lopez Obrador urged Hispanics not to vote for Abbott in response to the buoys. “We don’t have to do much, just tell our compatriots not to vote for the governor of Texas or for lawmakers of the Republican Party who support these measures,” he said at the time. Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report
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