In a surprising turn of events, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is itching to visit Washington D.C. in early November to have a chat with U.S. President Joe Biden. This unexpected rendezvous is said to cover a wide range of topics, including immigration, development aid, and drug trafficking. As we all know, Mexico has been grappling with a surge in migrants recently, resulting in the temporary closure of some U.S.-Mexico border crossings. Additionally, Mexico’s largest railway company decided to put the brakes on approximately 60 train runs due to the excessive number of migrants taking advantage of the freight cars. Most of these audacious individuals are reportedly Venezuelans who boldly traversed the treacherous Darien Gap connecting Colombia and Panama.
During a news conference in New York, Alicia Bárcena, Mexico’s top diplomat, shed light on the dire situation. She revealed that migrant shelters in Ciudad Juarez, located just across the border from El Paso, Texas, are currently bursting at the seams, as they are 95% occupied. Understandably, the Mexican government is facing immense anxiety over this overwhelming migrant surge, not to mention their icy relationship with Texas Governor Greg Abbott. In the past, Abbott has been no stranger to tightening border truck inspections and implementing floating barriers in the Rio Grande; all lofty endeavors aimed at deterring migrants. Bárcena cleverly proposed that more should be done to combat the inflow of migrants through the treacherous Darien Gap. On top of that, she suggested that lifting U.S. economic sanctions against Venezuela might “help us return some people to their home countries.” It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off.
Adding to the mayhem, Bárcena shared alarming news about the city of Tapachula, located near the border with Guatemala. She stated that approximately 140,000 migrants are waiting to register for transit or asylum papers in this southern Mexican city. With a hint of desperation in her voice, she emphasized the need for reinforcements, as processing such an astronomical number of people seems nearly impossible. And if things weren’t chaotic enough, local residents near an overcrowded migrant shelter in Mexico City even took to the streets to voice their grievances. These residents blocked traffic on a major expressway in protest of the problems caused by the migrants living on the streets outside the shelter. Talk about adding fuel to the fire.
Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Mexico also happens to be the primary supplier of synthetic opioid fentanyl for the U.S. market. Yes, you read that right. Using precursor chemicals smuggled in from China, Mexico churns out this deadly substance that continues to wreak havoc in America. So, it’s safe to say that the situation is already dire, and López Obrador’s sudden interest in meeting with Biden might hold the key to easing tensions and finding a solution. It’s worth mentioning that López Obrador recently dropped the bombshell that he won’t be attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. Apparently, his country has “no relations” with Peru, as he believes the current government was installed by a coup, and he still considers the ousted president Pedro Castillo as the legitimate leader. Both countries were left with no choice but to recall their ambassadors. This isn’t the first time López Obrador has skipped international meetings in the United States due to his disdain for the invitation list. Last year, he decided not to attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles because Nicaragua and Venezuela weren’t invited. Talk about a sensitive soul.