Has Biden bribed Mexico to control border – and help him win the election?
by Todd Bensman


Members of the Mexican army patrol a migrant camp after the area was cleared by authorities.REUTERS

Mexico suddenly started doing some serious anti-immigration work, the kind necessary to cut down on the shocking border images that front-running Donald Trump could use to help win this year’s election.

Among the news:

  •  Mexican law enforcement officials are rounding up immigrants in the country’s north and shipping them by bus and airplane to southern cities like Tapachula in Chiapas State and Villahermosa in Tabasco State. They are all expected to go home or stay put alongside those continuing to enter from Guatemala. They’ll be held back to wait for a molasses-slow bureaucracy to approve individual travel papers.

In a story headlined “Truncated American Dream: Learn about Miguel’s Story,” the Tabasco Herald described how Mexican immigration agents rounded up Guatemalan Don Miguel and his six children from a long-standing migrant camp in Matamoros on December 31.

They shipped him to Villahermosa, where he has requested a ride back to Guatemala.

  • To eliminate another obvious draw, Mexican authorities have emptied and then bulldozed at least one longstanding migrant camp, the sprawling one in Matamoros across the Rio Grande from Brownsville and dug deep anti-pedestrian trenches to deny further easy access to popular crossings there. It was done “under U.S. pressure,” one Mexican newspaper said.
  •  Perhaps one of Mexico’s most impactful slow-down measures is that, finally, it is doing something about “La Bestia,” the system of cargo trains that have super-powered the Biden border crisis for three years running by transporting hundreds of thousands of migrants from deep southern Mexico to its northern border cities.

Mexican media shows that Mexico’s military is blockading railyards all over the country and rousting immigrants already on the trains.

People in popular northern railway destination cities like Juarez across from El Paso have noticed the sharp change.

“After the arrival of thousands of migrants aboard cargo trains during the last quarter of 2023, a train with around five people headed to the border was observed,” wrote El Diario on January 12. “The small group traveling on a wagon was photographed by a resident of that town, who at the end of last year witnessed the passage of different trains with hundreds of people towards this border.”

According to Mexican media, this is part of a broader “agreement” signed by Mexico’s immigration service and the U.S. Border Patrol to also block northbound immigrants on public roads.

What does the Mexican president get in return?

AMLO has called for $20 billion dollars to be shared among his country and some others, for starters, according to media reports.

Biden may also have convinced AMLO he’ll get a better deal from him than Trump.

When Trump was in office, he threatened to ruin Mexico’s economy with trade tariffs if AMLO didn’t play ball with his policies and demands to slow the flow from Guatemala.

Biden dropped that hard-ball tactic and switched to carrots (lots of cash).

AMLO, however, has repeatedly double-crossed Biden.

In September 2021, for example, AMLO ordered the release and busing of 15,000 Haitians who were rioting for release from Tapachula, the big city at the Guatemala-Mexico border — just so they wouldn’t get in the way of upcoming “El Grito” street parties. Those Haitians went on to create the infamous Del Rio migrant camp crisis that made international headlines for many days.

In the years since, as I have repeatedly reported, AMLO switched to “ant operation” strategy, which is to let thousands bottled up in Tapachula leave by spreading them out across a dozen northern provinces so TV cameras can’t see them in big congregations.

This time may be different, though. AMLO may feel motivated to endure riots and trouble for nine months because he so hates and fears Trump’s big stick.


Todd Bensman is a senior national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.