I wonder if Mexico has offered any specific conditions (like financial aid from the U.S.) to help deter illegal immigrants at their country and what the current status of the negotiation is?

I did see in Dec 2023 news that

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president said Friday that he is willing to help out with a surge of migrants that led to the closure of border crossings with the United States, but he wants the U.S. government to open talks with Cuba and send more development aid to migrants’ home countries.

But the content of this negotiation is very vague. I would like to know how much money they actually want from the U.S. and what kind of "open talks with Cuba" they expect the U.S. to have.

1 Answer 1


"open talks with Cuba" is somewhat explained in the piece as a reduction in sanctions, but not in terribly quantitative terms:

But the president said that in exchange he wanted the United States to send more development aid to migrants’ home countries, and to reduce or eliminate sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela.

(Why AMLO cares about those issues is another matter. Personally, I suspect it's because he knows they're unpalatable to Republicans thus unlikely to pass the current House.) Anyhow, the US under Trump proved that threats work against AMLO: he put their National Guard on the job of stopping migrants after Trump threatened high tariffs. (Even if by some accounts AMLO had conceded already before Trump made the threats public.) But AMLO also probably knows Biden isn't going to go for that approach, so...

BTW, according to some data, in the first year of Biden's presidency, the Trump-era accord kept making its effects:

the country´s [meaning Mexico's] detention-based laws have been applied without restraint. In 2021 there were 307,679 people detained by Mexico´s immigration authority (INM), which represented a 273% increase from those detained in 2020.

And HRW says citing some official stats that that number was even higher in 2023:

Mexican authorities detained 686,000 migrants in 2023, the highest number ever recorded.

So, ALMO seems to ask for something in return to exceed those records. (Whether those numbers are terribly relevant is another Q. Alas my Spanish isn't good so IDK how the Mexican authorities define detained--i.e. how long those people are detained and where are they sent afterwards.)

FWTW, some US press reports that the Mexican authorities even plugged holes in the fence, in Feb 2024, with checkpoints manned by troops & border agents. Whether ALMO got something in return for that... who knows. Officially, he only seems to have gotten some (public) thanks from Biden. I suspect what he did get were no additional suspensions of traffic, like in late December:

Mexican industries were stung last week when the U.S. briefly closed two vital Texas railway crossings, arguing that border patrol agents had to be reassigned to deal with the surge. A non-rail crossing remained closed at Lukeville, Arizona, and border operations were partially suspended at San Diego and Nogales, Arizona.

Just at the beginning of that month though, the Mexican side was complaining that stopping the migrants was costing them too much, exceeding that year's budget.

The head of Mexico’s immigration agency has ordered the suspension of migrant deportations and transfers due to a lack of funds amid a record-setting year for migration through the country’s territory.

Mexico’s finance ministry suspended payments to the National Immigration Institute in November due to end-of-year budget adjustments, according to the memo.

Citing budget constraints “and the lack of liquidity to cover commitments,” Garduño ordered a halt to various agency activities, most notably the “assisted returns,” a government euphemism to describe deportations, and “ground transportation for transfer of irregular migrants.”

Mexico’s government had been frequently moving migrants from points north near the U.S. border to locations in the south in part to relieve pressure on border cities, but also to exhaust migrants, according to advocates.

So, ALMO was probably hinting at that in his mid-Dec talk. But that negotiating position appears to have been overtaken by events, like border closures to legit traffic due to insufficient US border personnel.

BTW, the last story mentions that "Mexico began sending migrants back to their countries, including flights to Cuba and Venezuela", so I guess one of ALMOs points was that they would have to do less of that if the economy of those two countries were less affected by US sanctions. (Repatriations from Mexico to Venezuela at least, then restarted again on Dec 30. So, given that, ALMO might have just been trying to show Maduro that he's trying to do something [for Venezuela] in exchange for Venezuela's cooperation with those repatriations.)

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