Biden: U.S. Might Pay for Latin American Job Program

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden | Image by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Joe Biden said he was considering a request from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that the United States pay for a multi-billion dollar jobs program in Latin America.

Speaking with Univision’s Enrique Acevedo earlier this week, Biden addressed the growing uncertainty along the southern border, saying he was considering helping Latin American countries by funding a multi-billion dollar job program.

Biden argued that spending U.S. taxpayer money on such a program could disincentivize people from leaving their home country and attempting to enter the United States unlawfully.

“Look, it’s not like people are sitting around a table, a hand-hewn table somewhere in Guatemala, and saying, ‘I’ve got a great idea. Let’s sell everything we have and give it to a criminal gang. They’re going to take us across the border. They’re going to drop us on the other side with language you don’t speak, where they don’t want me. Won’t that be fun?’ People don’t… they leave because they have no alternatives,” he claimed, as reported by The Texan.

The job program was one of multiple demands made by Lopez Obrador in January in exchange for Mexico helping reduce the number of migrants unlawfully crossing into the United States.

Lopez Obrador also requested that the United States grant 10 million unlawful migrants the right to work in the country while also suspending the blockade against Cuba and ending all sanctions on Venezuela, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

In addition to meeting the demands made by Lopez Obrador, Biden said he has considered other measures that the White House could take to mitigate the crisis at the southern border.

The president stressed that no official decisions had been made. Still, he said he has thought about executive action and is purportedly “examining whether or not I have that power.”

“And some have suggested I should just go ahead and try it, and if I get shut down by the court, I get shut down by the court, but we’re trying to work through that right now,” he added, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

It remains unclear what actions Biden will take to manage the ongoing crisis, which has seen U.S. Customs and Border Protection report more than 7.9 million encounters with unlawful migrants since Biden took office in 2021.

The high number of encounters has prompted multiple states to take legislative action, including Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who signed a bill that makes “illegal re-entry” into the state a crime.

SF 2340, if enacted, would make it a crime for “certain aliens” to enter Iowa if they had been deported or denied entry into the United States in the past.

This measure is similar to a Texas border security bill, SB 4, which makes unlawfully entering the Lone Star State a crime.

SB 4 is currently wrapped up in a legal battle over whether enforcement of the potential law is constitutional, with the federal government arguing that the bill should be blocked since the enforcement of immigration law is a right that states do not have.

On the other hand, Texas has argued that it was dealing with an “invasion” from the southern border, and the federal government has done nothing to assist the state, leaving it up to the state legislature.

No official decision has been made by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on whether this law is constitutional, and the expectation is that this case will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court for a determination.

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