Mexico's President Mocks Greg Abbott Using Military Against Migrants

Mexico’s President Mocks Greg Abbott Using Military Against Migrants

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mocked Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday, saying the state’s newly announced military base camp “is not serious” and won’t derail illegal immigration.

Abbott said Friday from Eagle Pass that the new 80-acre military operation along the U.S.-Mexico border had already commenced and will extend along the Rio Grande and six miles south to Shelby Park. It will initially house about 1,800 soldiers with another 500 potentially added in the future. The camp will include individual rooms for soldiers, recreational rooms, Wi-Fi and a large dining hall.

The governor said the consolidation of forces is akin to “amassing a large army in a very strategic area,” further aiding his and his state’s efforts to deter migrants from coming into the U.S. He attributed methods like employing razor wire for dramatically reducing migrant encounters from 3,000 to 4,000 to about 1 percent of that number within the past month.

“It’s like the governor of Texas who put a military camp on the border,” Obrador said during his morning press conference, according to Mexican publication Proseco Digital. “Let him put as many as he wants. Supposedly this is how he is going to detain the migrants. Pure politicking! It is not serious.”

Newsweek reached out to Abbott’s office via email for comment.

President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures during his daily morning briefing on June 10, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico. On February 20, 2024, Obrador said that Texas’ new construction of a military base…

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Obrador has not been shy in criticizing American politicians of both parties, in some cases galvanizing members of varied party lines due to bipartisanship sentiment on immigration shortcomings.

Last month, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson told Newsweek that Obrador’s efforts to get the U.S. to subsidize $20 billion as part of a broader plan to help countries in Latin America with record numbers of migrants equate to “blackmail.”

“He’s blackmailing Biden,” Johnson said. “It’s clear blackmail. I mean, Trump secured the border because he threatened tariffs, had Migrant Protection [Protocols], Return to Mexico in place, and then all of a sudden, you got Mexico to cooperate with this as well [as] Central American with Safe Third Country.”

Last May, Obrador insinuated that the United States’ lifting of the Title 42 immigration policy—initially enacted by former President Donald Trump at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic—was encouraging smugglers to bring illegals into the U.S.

Last March, Obrador warned GOP lawmakers against advocating for military action against Mexican cartels, saying, “We are not going to permit any foreign government to intervene in our territory, much less that a government’s armed forces intervene.”

Republican Congressman Tony Gonzales, who represents Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, told Newsweek last week that decreased migrant encounters at the southern border could be a result of the Biden administration receiving help from Mexican cartels.

“I do think the cartels are trying to carry the Biden administration a couple rounds,” Gonzales said. “Mexico has an election in June that no one’s really tracking. And, I suspect, for the next couple of months, everything will be cleaned up a little bit. I mean, over 7,000 people a day is still astronomical.”

Claudia Sheinbaum, Xóchitl Gálvez or Jorge Álvarez Máynez will succeed Obrador this summer.

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