Amid one of the worst national security, immigration and public safety crises in U.S. history, President Biden’s attempts to smooth over the crisis at the southern border are actually exacerbating the situation.

At this point, he is empowering the very authoritarian regimes responsible for orchestrating the flow of refugees and migrants to the U.S. to begin with.

Biden has given the Mexican government significant leverage as he continues to seek Mexico’s help to address a problem that only recently captured his attention because of its negative impact on his poll numbers.

Biden finds himself in a strange position. He is now pleading with Mexico to stop the flow of illegal crossings into the U.S., as he continues to repeatedly sue Texas for…trying to stop the flow of illegal crossings into the U.S.

As the Biden administration carries on its attack against Texas, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known universally as “AMLO”) knows he has the upper hand. Mexico controls the migrant flows from Tapachula, along its border with Guatemala, to its northern border with the U.S. AMLO is using that as leverage to control Biden’s policies. Biden, meanwhile, facing an all-time low 32 percent approval rating on his handling of the border crisis, is desperately counting on Mexico’s cooperation to avoid the potential political consequences of his reckless border policy.

In exchange for a promise to control its borders, Mexico has called on the U.S. to approve a plan that would deploy $20 billion in aid to help Latin American and Caribbean countries escape poverty. So AMLO is urging Biden to squeeze American taxpayers for money for countries that will inevitably use those dollars to feed the very corruption they are supposed to combat.

Mexico also called for the U.S. to suspend U.S. sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela, and to grant more than 10 million Hispanic illegal immigrants living in the U.S. the right to remain and work legally.

Biden may try to grant AMLO his demands, even while ignoring the requirement that Congress approve the requests.

It is disconcerting to watch an American president beg for assistance in this way from an antagonistic foreign power controlled by the drug cartels that are making billions exploiting our open border.

As president, the power is already in Biden’s hands to secure the border and shut down illegal immigration. The U.S. does not have to depend on any other entity to do that. It only needs leadership with the will to enforce immigration laws already in place.

Regrettably, Biden lacks that will. He does not want to risk giving the impression that he is anti-immigrant, so he relies on a Mexican president with a “hugs, not bullets” approach to the criminal cartels that are currently profiting more than ever from illegal immigration.