Former President Donald Trump claimed that the Mexican president’s conditions for helping the United States secure the border are evidence of his “lack of respect” for President Joe Biden.

During a Fox News interview on Sunday, President Trump recalled that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had demanded $10 billion from the Biden administration just to start border talks.

“He [Mr. López Obrador] said he wants $10 billion essentially just to talk, $10 billion to talk, and that’s come out since. And no, that wouldn’t happen with me, with the wall,” the former president told the news outlet.

Mr. López Obrador demanded in January that the United States send $20 billion a year to Latin American nations, lift its sanctions on Venezuela, and end the decades-long embargo on Cuba in exchange for help with combattting illegal immigration at the border.

He asked the United States to legalize the millions of illegal immigrants from Mexico currently living in the country. Mr. López Obrador said “the flow of migrants” will continue if the country fails to meet these requests.

President Trump suggested that the United States wouldn’t face such demands under his leadership. “It’s very simple: lack of respect for the president. They would never say that to me. They would never say before we even talk. They want $10 billion a year, Mexico just asked for $10 billion a year. They would never ask it. I wouldn’t give them 10 cents,” the former president said.

“Our country is going bad, and it’s going to be changed on November 5th, and if it’s not changed, we’re not going to have a country anymore,” he added, referring to the coming presidential election.

During fiscal year 2023, some 2.47 million encounters with illegal immigrants were recorded at the U.S. border with Mexico, according to figures released by border officials. So far, there have been 1.51 million encounters during the fiscal year 2024.

Republicans Call Mexico’s Demands a ‘Bribe’

Republican lawmakers have denounced the Mexican president’s demands as a bribe.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said that Mr. López Obrador seemed to suggest that “they will keep invading our country until we pay the bribe.”

“This is a war. He is basically saying either we meet his demands or the invasion continues,” Ms. Greene stated on the social media platform X on March 25.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has called on the federal government to coerce Mexico into becoming more compliant in dealing with the border problem.

“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, and not empty rhetoric, is the only way to compel Mexico to do its important part in securing the border,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows that Border Patrol agents have made 140,644 arrests of people attempting to enter the country between the legal border crossing points during February.

The numbers come after a December that saw Border Patrol tally 249,785 arrests, a record high that increased tensions over illegal immigration before plunging in January.

Border officials have credited enforcement efforts by Mexico as well as seasonal fluctuations that affect when and where illegal immigrants attempt to cross the border for the drop from December to January and February.

The Biden administration has also allowed 30,000 people a month into the country from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela using the administration’s humanitarian parole authority. They must have a financial sponsor in the United States and enter through an American airport. According to data released on Friday, 386,000 people from those four countries have been admitted into the country so far under that program.

Jack Phillips and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rating: 4.9/5. From 10 votes.
Please wait...