relief in Mexico after Joe Biden’s election, “AMLO” plays it safe

Cuban migrants, part of the “Stay in Mexico” program, celebrate the victory of Joe Biden, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on November 7.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (“AMLO”) is playing the card of caution. He did not congratulate, Saturday, November 7, the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. His announced victory in the American election, however, spells the end of the verbal attacks and other threats professed by the current President of the United States, Donald Trump, against Mexican immigrants. A political alternation that seems favorable in Mexico, a little less in AMLO.

“We want to wait for the electoral process to be regulated legally in the name of the self-determination of the peoples”said AMLO, who took more than seven hours to react, justifying a trip to his flood-stricken home state of Tabasco. A rather paradoxical restraint in view of the ideological affinities between Mr. Biden and the Mexican president of the center-left. But the return of a Democrat to the White House heralds a thorny bilateral agenda.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico City on September 1.

Change in rhetoric and migration policy

Most Mexican analysts, however, welcomed on Saturday a future change in rhetoric from Washington towards the more than 35 million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the United States, including five million undocumented migrants. The latter have long been victims of the xenophobic discourse of Mr. Trump who had called them “Criminals” and of “Rapists”.

Another offense against the current occupant of the Oval office: the proposed wall along the border between the two countries. ” A money loss “, according to Mr. Biden who promised a migration reform ” more just “. In mind, his concern to improve the lot “Inhuman” children separated from their undocumented parents in American detention centers. The Democrat also announced the end of the program “Quedate en Mexico” (“Stay in Mexico”), introduced by Mr. Trump, which forces 60,000 asylum seekers in the United States to wait in Mexico for their procedures to be processed by American justice.

An activist celebrates Joe Biden's victory at a pro-migrants protest in Tijuana, Mexico on November 7.

But Mr. Biden did not comment on the military system deployed by AMLO in the north and south of Mexico in the face of migratory flows, under the threat of customs taxes issued by Mr. Trump. The economic crisis, due to the Covid-19 epidemic, caused, between 2019 and 2020, a 26% increase in the inflows of undocumented migrants on American soil.

Same uncertainty regarding binational cooperation against drug cartels. Mexico City was not warned before the arrest in mid-October in California of Salvador Cienfuegos, former Mexican defense minister (2012-2018), accused of links to organized crime. The omission revealed the distrust of the American authorities towards Mexican institutions, infiltrated by the cartels. On the other hand, Mr. Biden’s victory foreshadows enhanced cooperation against arms trafficking, demanded by Mexico.

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