Should Biden pay the Mexican president's $20 billion demand or get tougher on immigration? Americans weigh in


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Americans shared whether President Biden should give in to the Mexican president’s demand for $20 billion a year for Latin American countries in exchange for help combating the illegal immigration crisis, with many telling Fox News that complying with a foreign nation’s ultimatum would make the U.S. look weak. 

“I don’t think we should pay their demands,” Andy told Fox News on Music City’s famous Broadway street. “It’s our issue they’re coming over, but it’s their issue for letting them come over. It would be like we are submitting to them.”

But a Nashville local, Chris, disagreed. He said the U.S. and Mexico need to work together to solve the immigration crisis. 

“It helps us, too. It benefits us, too,” he said. We spend money everywhere else, so why not?

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a “60 Minutes” interview Sunday that the surge of migrants crossing into the U.S. will continue unless Biden and his administration comply with his demands. Obrador had called on the U.S. to send $20 billion a year to Latin American countries, lift sanctions on Venezuela, end the Cuban embargo and legalize millions of Hispanics who have worked and lived in the U.S. for at least a decade.

Mexican officials said complying would help the U.S. show it wanted to address the root causes of migration, NBC reported.

“I think we can do it ourselves,” Gary told Fox News. “We can control it ourselves if we get off our butts and do it.” 

Tony similarly said the U.S. shouldn’t comply, but questioned whether Biden would give into Mexican demands.

“There’s a border crossing for a reason,” Tony said. “Biden’s weak. Bottom line.” 

Obrador speaks about the flow of migrants

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador argued on “60 Minutes” that Latin America must have certain needs met to curb the migrant crisis. (March 2024 migrant caravan photo by ISAAC GUZMAN/AFP via Getty Images, Obrador screenshot from CBS’ “60 Minutes”)

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The U.S. has faced an ongoing migrant surge at the southern border under Biden’s watch, reaching a record 2.4 million migrant encounters in fiscal year 2023, a sharp uptick from roughly 1.7 million in 2021, according to Customs and Border Protection data. In December, migrant encounters hit a record 302,000 for the month.

CBP also recorded the highest number of migrant encounters in the month of February this year at 189,922 encounters, a 21% increase from the year prior, the data show. Border officials also encountered 69 people on the FBI terror watchlist between ports of entry at the southern border in the first five months of this fiscal year — significantly more than the combined 26 caught from 2017 to 2021. 

“I don’t think they should help at all,” Nol said of the U.S. government. “It would make us look weak.”

Chris agreed. He said the U.S. needs to get tougher on illegal immigration. 

“Make them come through properly,” he said. “I think we have everything in place.”

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But Gerald said Biden should comply to address the escalating border crisis. 

“Anything they can do to stop it,” he said. “We can’t even sustain our own people with homeless … now we have the illegals coming across. It’s unsafe.” 

“Whether we gotta pay or complete the wall … it’s dangerous,” Gerald said. “I would definitely help out.” 

Ramiro Vargas contributed to the accompanying video.



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