Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or Amlo as he’s colloquially known is Mexico’s new president, having won a landslide victory on July 1st in Mexico’s election. Obrador is essentially a far left populist. A former mayor of Mexico City who twice ran for president and lost, in 2006 and 2012, Obrador won the presidency because of outrage over the corruption of incumbent President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the conditions in what is rapidly becoming a failed state.The conditions of poverty, corruption, and high crime as well as their governments inability to deal with these problems is what caused Mexicans in desperation to vote for Amlo, their first leftist president since 1934.
Given that Mexico shares a 2,000 mile border with America, this development is worth looking at.
Many observers are warning that Obrador is a radical and will turn Mexico into Venezuela north, leading to even more illegal migration into the U.S. That is by no means outside the realm of possibility.
Victor Davis Hanson declared last week that Obrador is “anti-American” and will push the idea that Mexicans have a “human right” to illegally enter the United States. Again, quite possible.
But there’s another factor worth considering; Obrador has a limited ability to control any of these factors.
The cartels all but run the country on the basis of their enormous profits from drug sales, human trafficking, extortion, enforced prostitution, kidnapping for ransom and other unsavory activities as well as their willingness to resort to the most extreme violence if they’re disobeyed or crossed. A common cartel tactic is to offer judges, politicians and law enforcement a choice of ‘silver or lead,’ co-operation and acceptance of a bribe or death.
And the cartels have branched out. Aside from the above, they now make money from fuel theft, illegal fishing, mining, and logging.Many Mexicans, especially in rural areas, are often have to work for the cartels if they’re going to have any employment, period.
The big problem isn’t Obrador, but that Mexico is becoming ungovernable—a failed state. And we’re already experiencing the effects, and then some as the violence and crime spill across the border. It will only get worse unless we adopt some very protective policies.
Actually, from what I know of him, Obrador and President Trump might even get along relatively well. Both have larger than life personalities and both men described the initial conversation when President Trump called Amlo to congratulate him on his victory as friendly. Amlo supposedly even offered Trump a deal involving increased cooperation in border control and curbing illegal migration in exchange for U.S. financing of development projects for Mexico’s economy.
The problem, of course is that the Mexican government has no real control over illegal migration nor is it in Mexico’s interest to stop it even if it did. Illegal migrants send to Mexico almost $40 billion dollars a year, as well as money these migrants get from social welfare benefits and what amounts to outright tax fraud in many cases. It also has another bonus, as a social safety valve where the American taxpayers foot the bill to take care of the needs of people Mexico is unwilling to.
Presidente’ Obrador has very few cards to actually play, unless he turns out to be a man of extraordinary courage with ability to defeat the cartels. Given that this is unlikely, America’s policy towards Mexico has to be based on the realization that it is a failed state, unfortunate as that is.
That means the border wall, increased border security, selective repatriation to Mexico of a significant number of illegal migrants here and a realistic, closely controlled guest worker plan somewhat similar to the bracero program of the 1950’s, with perhaps a number of H1-B temporary work visas for more skilled, non-agricultural workers. And of course. fighting the cartels and their allies here in America and cooperating with Mexico to give them whatever help we reasonably can to regain control over their country again.
Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, The Times Of Israel, Breitbart.Com, Yediot and other publications.
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