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Speaker Johnson fires back at Mexico’s president, rips ‘widespread emigration out of his country’

House Speaker Mike Johnson on Monday slammed Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his recommendations for the US on how to tackle the border crisis.
Obrador re-upped his suggestion the US should scrap sanctions on Venezuela, end the Cuban embargo, grant citizenship to illegal immigrants from Mexico living in the US, and cough up $20 billion a year to assist beleaguered countries in Latin America as well as the Caribbean.
“Handing the reins of the Western Hemisphere’s security to communists in Cuba and socialists in Venezuela will only further destabilize the region and increase illegal immigration,” Johnson (R-La.) said in a statement.
“Likewise, mass amnesty will only serve to expand the Mexican cartels’ already growing and dangerous human trafficking operation.”
4 Andrés Manuel López Obrador reiterated his call for the US to pay up $20 billion to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. ZUMAPRESS.com
Obrador again offered the suggestion in a wide-ranging interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” in which the Mexican leader blasted Johnson’s push to revive the Trump-era Remain in Mexico Policy.
During the interview, Obrador was also presented with a clip from a presser Johnson did earlier this year in which the speaker recounted a conversation with President Biden on the Remain in Mexico policy.
Biden told Johnson that Mexico didn’t want to revive it, but the speaker recalled telling him that Washington should coerce the US ally into cooperation.
“Mr. President, we’re the United States. Mexico will do what we say,” Johnson recalled telling Biden at a presser earlier this year.
“No. No. Mr. legislator,” Obrador replied after seeing that clip, per a translation. “He’s disrespectful. We are an independent country. Free sovereign. We are not a colony. We are not a protectorate of any foreign country.”
4 Speaker Mike Johnson wants the US to increase pressure on Mexico to be more cooperative on border policy. SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
The Remain in Mexico policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, went into effect in 2019 under Obrador’s watch and involved tens of thousands of migrants with asylum claims in the US waiting in Mexico for their cases to be adjudicated.
Obrador, whose term is up in September, argued that Mexico has a “very good relationship” with the US but stressed it is “not one of subordination.”
On Monday, Johnson reiterated his call to coerce Mexico into being more cooperative in reining in the border mayhem.
“The President of Mexico is coddling cartels and demanding the United States bankroll even more mass migration into our country. President Biden needs to confront the fact that employing leverage, as President Trump did,” Johnson said.
“We should be using every tool at our disposal to secure our border and stem the flow of aliens into the United States, including the Migrant Protection Protocols. And we should be bringing every bit of leverage to compel the Mexican government to cooperate,” he added.
4 A group of migrants of different nationalities carry a cross leading a caravan that aims to reach the border between Mexico and the US. AFP via Getty Images
Johnson also lambasted the left-wing populist leader’s record.
“As he reflects on the kind of legacy he will leave behind, President López Obrador should look no further than the widespread emigration out of his country,” Johnson chided.
Obrador had previously proposed the US cough up $20 billion to assist Latin American and Caribbean nations.
If the US fails to heed Obrador’s suggestions, he told “60 Minutes,” that “the flow of migrants will continue.”
“I’m speaking frankly. We have to say things as they are. And I always say what I feel,” he said before affirming that Mexico would continue to help secure the border even if the US doesn’t fulfill his requests.
4 Obrador claims he fostered good relations with both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Sashenka Gutierrez/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
During fiscal year 2023, a whopping 2.47 million encounters were recorded at the US-Mexico border, according to Border Patrol. Thus far into fiscal year 2024, there have been 1.51 million encounters.
Border security has emerged as a political flashpoint ahead of the Nov. 5 presidential election.

web-intern@dakdan.com

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