Departing Mexican President Calls Trump’s Bluff

( – As Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador prepares to exit the stage in less than a year, what he decides to do regarding the U.S.-Mexico border will surely shape and impact the future of the crisis for Americans during the next chapter. He also doesn’t think Trump will shut it down or finish the wall.

López Obrador appeared on “60 Minutes” for an interview, which aired on Sunday, March 24th, and reflected on his career, his legacy, his new policy to combat the cartels, and the ongoing border crisis. He said migrants will continue flowing into the U.S. if the root causes go unaddressed.

Despite nearing the end of his run, the Mexican president holds a great deal of influence in his country and clearly has the power to help secure the border on Mexico’s end, which was demonstrated at the end of last year. In December, over 250,000 immigrants were encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border, marking a record number in a single month. In response, President Joe Biden called López Obrador and asked him to help slow down the flow. The following month, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reported that the number of encounters went down by 50%.

López Obrador proposed that if the White House wants Mexico to help address the causes at the root of the border crisis, the U.S. must commit at least $20 billion annually to poor Latin American countries and Caribbean nations. He also suggested lifting the sanctions on Venezuela, ending the Cuban embargo, and legalizing illegal Mexican immigrants already in the U.S. if they are law-abiding. Although his critics have accused him of diplomatic blackmail for such demands, López Obrador maintains that he always speaks “frankly” and that he must “say things as they are.”

In continuing that honesty, López Obrador also accused former President Donald Trump of bluffing whenever he says he will “shut down the border or build a wall.” Ideological differences and border tensions aside, the two maintained a working relationship during Trump’s time in office, with the Mexican president even paying a visit to the White House in 2020.

The main reason he believes Trump will ever totally shut down the border is because of trade, and that the U.S. “needs Mexico,” regardless of the issues that come along with allowing access between both nations. There are factories in both nations fundamental for American and Mexican consumers, which he said Trump and Biden understand.

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