by Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne
Walking down long, ornate hallways, across a grand central courtyard adorned with a Pegasus-topped fountain, and through yet more corridors, our bipartisan delegation was guided to the offices of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for what we hoped would be a timely and useful meeting for our nations. Since the enactment of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), ongoing trade issues continue to flare up, and since the beginning of the Biden Administration our southern border with Mexico has deteriorated into a chaotic, dangerous, and lawless morass.
In the days leading up to this meeting, Americans were kidnapped and killed in a border town, record seizures of deadly fentanyl were made, elements of the Mexican military and state police invaded and took over corporate facilities owned and operated by U.S.-based companies, and we were notified that mass illegal immigration, driven by Mexican drug cartels, was again reaching historically unimaginable numbers. It was with these important issues in mind that we made last week’s trip to Mexico City to visit with the president of Mexico.
Perhaps it was too ambitious to believe our next-door neighbor, and largest trading partner, would be open to a discussion about how we could better work together for greater economic and national security. Certainly, we not only want a valued and honest trading partner in Mexico, but also to count them as an ally against nations, and multi-national organizations, who are hostile to free and democratically elected governance. Unfortunately, over the course of the three-hour meeting with President López Obrador, it became abundantly clear that none of these mutually beneficial objectives were of any interest to him.
Rather than meaningfully engage with our delegation, which included Jason Smith, the newly elected Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, López Obrador sought to lecture us about the frailty and corruption of the United States, blame American families for the rise in fentanyl poisonings, and denigrate American farmers for not being up to Mexican standards. There were multiple instances where we interrupted his rambling and unhinged screed to point out widely accepted facts like Mexican drug cartels disguising fentanyl as candy or lacing it into commonly used medications such as Adderall or Xanax, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of unwitting American kids. To López Obrador, none of this mattered.
I have long said that when someone tells you who they are, you should believe them. In this respect, the meeting with López Obrador was all too revealing. He made it very clear he is not interested in a true partnership with our nation. He could not have cared less about how Mexican drug cartels have killed more Americans than we lost in the Vietnam War. And he certainly has no objections to the Mexican military and police authorities forcefully confiscating the capital investments and facilities of U.S. companies doing business in Mexico. Simply put, with President López Obrador, there is no rule of law in Mexico and Americans are unwelcome.
Where does this leave us if we truly want to protect American citizens and fulfill the most basic responsibility of a functioning and sovereign government?
Despite the tens of billions of American taxpayer dollars that have flowed to Mexico to help with law enforcement personnel, training, and economic expansion support, Mexico is functionally controlled by the panoply of drug cartels who receive “hugs, not bullets” from the Mexican president. Taken together with Biden’s Open Border policies, López Obrador and Biden are a Mexican drug cartel Dream Team, and the people of BOTH countries are suffering mightily. Clearly, a more direct engagement with the drug cartels, much like how we treated ISIS, is in order if we are to seriously combat the deadly consequences they are inflicting on the American public.
Conducting these targeted operations cannot involve corrupt and infiltrated Mexican authorities. Only an unleashed and empowered American military and intelligence agency can deliver the kind of direct assaults the Mexican drug lords so richly deserve. We should be going after their finances to freeze and seize them wherever possible and repurpose those dollars for American border protection. To bring our point directly to bear on these murderous international criminals, American special forces have proven particularly adept at introducing our enemies to Reaper drones and Hellfire missiles. Make no mistake, these people are our enemies, they are the killers of our neighbors, and they will never stop killing Americans until we end their existence on this planet.
President López Obrador can keep delivering dishonest, bloviating lectures to America and hugs to cartel thugs. For the protection of our nation and our families, it’s time to deliver righteous vengeance. Perhaps afterwards, López Obrador, or the next Mexican president, might start to care about having a truly meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship with our great nation.
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Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne represents the 24th Congressional District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes portions of Tarrant, Denton, and Dallas counties. She serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the House Committee on Small Business, where she is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Regulations. Prior to being elected to Congress, Beth served as regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Mayor of Irving, Irving City Council Member, and a businesswoman.
Photo “Beth Van Duyne” by Beth Van Duyne. Photo “Andrés Manuel López Obrador” by Medios Públicos EP. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Border Wall” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.