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Texas-Mexico tension heats up with cross border coalition accusing López Obrador of cartel collusion

On the same day the coalition made its announcement, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador called on U.S. Hispanics to vote against for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

A collage of the American and Mexican flags together
A collage of the American and Mexican flags together | Shutterstock

July 18, 2023 9:16am

Updated: July 18, 2023 9:23am

A new conservative cross border coalition is calling on Washington lawmakers to change its policy with Mexico, and scrutinize the neighboring country for its purported collusion with drug cartels.

The Conservative U.S.-Mexico Policy Coalition says, “The Mexican government and Mexican criminal cartels exist in conscious and willing symbiosis, at multiple levels, up to and including the Mexican presidency… the current president of Mexico has expressed his openness to a pact with the cartels and spoken of his willingness to defend them from American action.”

On the same day the coalition made its announcement, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador struck back, calling for Latino “compatriots” in the United States to vote against for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

He also called on Latinos to vote against members of the Texas legislature who supported Operation Lone Star, which has targeted illegal entry at the border.

The announcement follows an earlier declaration in May by the Mexican president in which he called on Florida Hispanics to vote against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The conservative coalition, which includes the America First Policy Institute, Center for Renewing America, Center for a Secure Free Society, Fundación Patria Unida, The Heritage Foundation says the Mexican government “is failing in its obligation to exercise full sovereignty over its own territory and citizenry,” and is “failing in its obligation to preserve its territory from use as a base of operations against its neighbors,” a reference to states in the southwest.

The coalition’s creation and pointed statements come after a declaration in September from Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) called for Texas to act, and a subsequent November declaration by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott designating Mexican cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

On Nov. 16, Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Texas Military Department (TMD) to expand their efforts to combat illegal immigration at the border.

Abbott sent a letter of the same date to the DPS director and TMD adjutant general, commending the two organizations for their work, saying the number of arrests the two have made was “astonishing,” and that “the wave of fentanyl and criminals you have stopped in shocking.”

In that letter, the governor also authorized the two organizations to deploy the National Guard “to safeguard our border and repel and turn-back immigrants trying to cross the border illegally,” build a border wall in multiple counties, and deploy gun boats to secure the border.

He also authorized them to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations “ enter into a compact with other states to secure the border… agreements with foreign powers to enhance border security, and provide resources for border counties to increase their efforts to respond to the border invasion.”

Some reports suggest the Texas governor is now planning to call a special legislative session to pass tighter border security measures.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s leadership has not been silent on other gubernatorial actions, also calling on Americans to vote against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his strong immigration reform legislation.

On May 26, ADN America reported that López Obrador lashed out against DeSantis after Florida’s new E-Verify law went into effect July 1.

“All of his playing politics with migrants was because he wanted to be the Republican party candidate,” López Obrador said during a press conference. “I hope the Hispanics of Florida wake up and don’t give him a single vote.”

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department also raised alarm bells by insisting the new Florida law “will affect the human rights of thousands of people, Mexican girls and boys, exacerbating hostile situations that could result in hate crimes against the migrant community.”

DeSantis’s actions come in the wake of investigating the human trafficking of children from Mexico into the U.S.

Authorities are uncovering violations of child labor laws, and sex trafficking of minors as a result of unaccompanied minors being released into the U.S.

Since Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in March 2021, Texas has made over 30,800 criminal arrests, with more than 28,700 felony charges reported. They’ve also seized over 421 million lethal doses of fentanyl at the Texas-Mexico border.

“Until Congress acts or the Biden Administration does its constitutionally required job, Texas Guardsmen and Troopers must bear the burden of securing the border,” said Abbott in his Nov. 16 letter.

“You must continue to keep Texans and Americans safe and protect against an invasion of the southern border. I order you to use all resources and tools available to repel immigrants from attempting to cross illegally, arrest those who cross illegally and return them to the border, and arrest criminals who violate Texas law.”

The new Conservative U.S.-Mexico Policy Coalition said the Mexican government’s actions speak for themselves and leave the U.S. with little choice but to take a more aggressive approach.

“The Mexican government is not an ally to the United States and can no longer properly be described as a partner…” the coalition declared.