Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

AMLO and Kamala Harris Stand Together Against Migrants

Mexican President López Obrador and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris have agreed to “cooperate” on migration. These plans represent continuity with Trump-era border and immigration policy.

Facebook Twitter Share
Side-by-side image of Mexican president AMLO and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris

“There is willingness on our part to join forces to combat human trafficking and protect human rights, especially those of children,” said Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) about his meeting with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.

The situation of migrant minors locked up in detention camps under inhumane conditions in the United States has become a real crisis for the Biden administration. The new U.S. president has responded to the increase in migration the same way that previous administrations have: through mass deportations of adults, confining minors, and increasing the militarization of the border in Mexico, making AMLO the one to stop migration at the southern border.

New migrant caravans

The recent caravans of thousands of migrants are driven by a combination of factors — including poverty, violence, the ravages of the pandemic, and natural disasters — that force them to flee their places of origin. They have also been driven by the deepening effects of the current economic crisis in Central America. Migration is on the agenda in negotiations between the Mexican and U.S. governments.

The Biden Administration is facing a dilemma on migration. On the one hand, the Biden administration gave migrants hope and encouragement with a “progressive” speech about cooperation at the border. On the other hand, it has asked them not to take risks and not to come to the United States. Additionally, Biden has maintained a Trump-era border policy — accepted by AMLO —  to deport thousands of migrants immediately and contain them in Mexico while accepting most unaccompanied minors almost immediately. This has ended up separating entire families, with no clarity as to what the plan is for these children.

What has changed in terms of border and migration policy under the Biden Administration compared to the Trump administration? What is the Mexican Government’s position? Below, we reveal the continuity between the approaches of the U.S. governments, both Republican Trump’s and Democrat Biden’s, in the face of the negotiations that were resumed with Mexico.

Bilateral Negotiations with the Same Objective

One of the Biden administration’s main actions in its joint plan with Mexico on migration is putting Kamala Harris in charge of negotiating migration issues with Mexico and the “Northern Triangle” (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras), to end the migration crisis. “She is the most qualified person … to stop migration on our southern border,” according to Biden.

It is worth noting that Kamala Harris has proudly called herself a “top cop” and held the record for the number of incarcerations during her work as California prosecutor, while refusing to prosecute Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse. In addition, she strengthened the penalties against poor and marginalized sectors, but never set out to combat the corruption of high ranking officials and big business.

The current U.S. regime is betting on stopping migration from the southern border and containing deported migrants in Mexico. For its part, the Mexican government has requested that the United States make a greater effort to “promote the well-being” of the Central American countries and the southern border through the policy implemented two years ago through the Comprehensive Development Plan under the direction of Laura Elena Carrillo, executive director of AMEXCID, the Mexican Agency of International Cooperation for Development. 

These are only palliative measures, however. The Biden administration is continuing to implement the core policies of the Trump era, although with more “friendly” rhetoric. As part of his proposals for immigration, Biden aims to spend millions of dollars on private investments to discourage migration to the United States and maintain the precarious and exploitative conditions of semi-slavery. This goes along with increasing violence and poverty in these countries, in accordance with U.S. imperialism and international organizations such as the IMF and World Bank, which are responsible for forcing poor and working class people across the world to pay for their countries’ punishing indebtedness.

Although both the U.S. and Mexican governments share the same objectives and have agreements to carry out a joint plan of “effective and humane action” in managing migration, in practice they have begun to accept each other’s demands. They are supposedly providing aid to Central America to keep migrants in their countries with repressive governments, performing military drills, maintaining militarized borders, and denying full rights to migrants, all while absolving themselves of responsibility. 

Comprehensive Development Plan: Similarities with the Trump Plan

The Trump administration has agreed to invest $4.8 billion as part of the new migration plan based on private investment in Central America and an increase in “aid” to these countries. Under the agreement, Mexico would take in migrants during the duration of the asylum process.

Trump thanked AMLO in 2019 for his cooperation in placing 27,000 troops on the border, with AMLO rejecting an open borders policy for migrants. However, while Mexico began to militarize the borders, the “aid” programs to Central America were not carried out. They were suspended under the pretext of the health crisis, and a lack of resources.  

The Biden administration announced in January that it would commit to allocating $4 billion to Central America, emphasized in the recent meeting between Harris and AMLO. But these plans, designed as they are to provide cover for further repression of immigrants, are wholly insufficient to “rebuild” the countries subordinated to imperialism, devastated by hurricanes and natural disasters, and plunged in deep poverty and high levels of violence as a result of the economic plans imposed by the United States. 

Free passage to All Migrants!

While the top officials of the five countries — Mexico, the United States, and the Northern Triangle — agree on “aid” plans, they have simultaneously disavowed their responsibility for the crisis, refused to guarantee full rights for migrants, and have forced the poorest sectors to pay for the economic collapse through further austerity and violence. Without policies to counteract the exploitation that deepens poverty in these countries, thousands of Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, Haitians and other nationalities, including minors, will continue to be stranded on the southern and northern border of Mexico.

We must not forget that we have a very important fight to wage in defense of our migrant brothers and sisters. We must promote this fight on both sides of the borders, through a movement led by the workers, the multiethnic working class of the United States, and the Mexican labor movement, independent of the different governments.

In the face of the anti-immigrant policy of the Mexican government and its subordination to Washington, we need the broadest solidarity of the exploited and oppressed of Central and North America with the migrant families fleeing violence and misery in search of a better life. We must demand free transit and automatic residency as soon as they set foot on the territory of other countries. This must be combined with an anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist perspective.

First published in Spanish on April 8 in La Izquierda Diario.

Translation by Otto Fors

Facebook Twitter Share

Latin America

Solidarity with Myriam Bregman, Socialist Congresswoman in Argentina, Under Attack for Her Defense of Palestine

Myriam Bregman, the candidate of the Workers Left Front, received almost 3 percent of votes in Argentina’s presidential election. She has been subject to false accusations of antisemitism due to her consistent defense of Palestinians. Hundreds of activists and politicians from around the world expressed their solidarity with this open letter.

Nicolas Del Cano and Myriam Bregman

In Argentina, a Surprise Finish for the Establishment While the Trotskyists Add to Their Congressional Seats

The far-right Javier Milei suffered a setback in Sunday’s elections. But voting the lesser evil won’t deal a definitive blow to the Right. That’s only achieved through building a socialist alternative for the working class.

Robert Belano

October 25, 2023

International Statement in Support of the Left and Workers Front — Unity (FIT-U) in the Argentinian Elections

Hundreds of activists, intellectuals, trade union leaders, and political organizations from all over the world have signed this declaration in support of the Workers Left Front — Unity (FITU) in the Argentinian elections this Sunday.

Anti-Imperialism: The Socialist Candidate in Argentina Refused to Meet with the US Ambassador

We republish a letter by Argentinian socialist and presidential candidate Myriam Bregman, declining to meet with the U.S. ambassador, expressing solidarity with the U.S. working class and oppressed, and denouncing imperialist intervention in Latin America.

Myriam Bregman

October 10, 2023


The New Hollywood McCarthyism Emerging Around Palestine

Over the past week, a new Hollywood McCarthyism has emerged: multiple people in Hollywood have jobs and representation over their support of Palestine. We must denounce and fight these attacks which weaken the movement and scare supporters into silence.

Sybil Davis

December 3, 2023
A UAW sign is held next to a "Free Palestine" sign

The UAW Has Called for a Ceasefire. It’s Time for All of Labor to Stand Up.

The UAW International union has joined calls for a ceasefire and is exploring how to divest from Israel. This is a step which should inspire union activists to take up the fight to bring their union into the fight against Israel's attack on Gaza and the struggle against imperialism.

Rose Lemlich

December 2, 2023

Robert Habeck Wrote a Play Praising a Right-Wing Mass Murderer

Germany's Green vice chancellor strikes many as an idealist who has been struggling with the tough realities of government. Yet before he was a national politician, he wrote a play that opens a window into a dark soul.

Nathaniel Flakin

December 1, 2023

The World Kissinger Built Must Die Too

Henry Kissinger died at 100 years old. But his legacy remains in the brutal world system he built and the future generations of imperialist ghouls he inspired. They all must go.

Samuel Karlin

November 30, 2023