On Dec. 28, the White House issued a joint communiqué with Mexico that created some tension when the American version identified “democratic decline” as one of the root causes of heavy and irregular migration flows at the border. When Mexico’s version excluded that phrase, it was immediately removed from the White House statement to align with the sanitized Mexican version, with a spokesperson blaming the mistake on a “version control issue.”
The Mexican government may refuse to acknowledge the correlation between repression and large waves of migration, and the Biden administration may be quick to appease it, but people fleeing their countries often cite authoritarian regimes and autocratic governments as significant contributors to their decisions.
One of many examples is Venezuela, where more than 7.3 million people have fled due to the economic and humanitarian crisis orchestrated by President Nicolás Maduro (and President Hugo Chavez before him). Venezuelans have become one of the fastest-growing immigrant groups in the United States. The number of Venezuelan immigrants in the U.S. has nearly tripled since 2010.
Venezuela is not alone. There has been a shift in hemispheric migration patterns in recent years, with migrants fleeing countries with authoritarian regimes such as Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua surpassing the number of Guatemalan, Honduran, and Salvadoran migrants encountered at the border. This trend will only get worse as countries ruled by leftist leaders further deteriorate and more people fleeing bad economic conditions seek safety in countries like the U.S.
Unfortunately, we have a U.S. president who not only refuses to stand up to hostile dictators and anti-democratic regimes but is more inclined to help them. In October, President Joe Biden lifted oil, gas, and gold sanctions on the regime of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro in exchange for promising to hold free and fair elections. Maduro has yet to hold up his end of the bargain, and still hasn’t arranged for a free election this year or ended the prohibition on Maria Corina Machado’s candidacy for president.
In Cuba, the U.S. embassy in Havana is promoting tourism and co-sponsoring public concerts. Meanwhile, the Cuban regime holds more than 1,000 political prisoners in its dungeons and maintains an alliance with Iran and Russia.
Not only does President Biden refuse to acknowledge this trend, but he’s shown how quick he is to bow to authoritarian leaders on matters big and small to avoid getting on their bad side on an election year.
As I wrote in a statement in November, collaborating with cruel and regimes not only empowers oppressive dictatorships but also jeopardizes stability, security, and prosperity in these nations, impacting U.S. border security. The consequence of entrenching criminal regimes is a surge in illegal immigration, increased drug, arms, and human trafficking, increased humanitarian abuses, and, tragically, unnecessary loss of life at the U.S.-Mexico border.