Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is blaming President Biden for the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying his public statements prompted Central Americans to try to get into the United States.
"Expectations were created that with the government of President Biden there would be a better treatment of migrants," Lopez Obrador said Wednesday at a press conference. "And this has caused Central American migrants, and also (people) from our country, wanting to cross the border, thinking that it is easier to do so."
Biden used an executive order in his first days in office to end former President Trump's Migrant Protection Protocols, which kept foreigners who tried to enter the U.S. illegally in camps in Mexico while they awaited hearings. Instead, Biden returned to a "catch-and-release" policy in which illegal aliens are allowed to enter the U.S.
Most recently, reports have emerged that because so many foreigners are swarming the border, some are being released into the U.S. without scheduled hearings.
It's not the first time Obrador has criticized Biden’s handling of the border. Earlier this month, he said migrants heading to the U.S. border see Biden as "the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States. We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next."
While Biden is now telling foreigners trying to get into the U.S. not to come to the southwestern U.S. border, he had a different message in 2019 when he was running for president.
In a debate moderated by Univision's Jorge Ramos, Biden said, "You should come."
"They deserve to be heard. That's who we are," Biden said of those applying for asylum. "We're a nation that says, 'You want to flee, and you're fleeing oppression, you should come.' "
Biden and his administration officials have repeatedly declared there is not crisis at the border. And last week the president, in attempt to slow the record surge of migrants, said they should not come.
"I can say quite clearly don't come over," Biden said in a TV interview with ABC News. "So don't leave your town or city or community. We're gonna make sure we have facilities in those cities and towns run by (the Department of Homeland Security) and also access with HHS, the (Department of) Health and Human Services, to say you can apply for asylum from where you are right now."