Biden’s Immigration Blueprint: A Report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office Indicates It’s a Waste of Money

The U.S. administration has funneled over $3 billion into Mexico since 2008, aiming to curb drug trafficking and international crime. However, a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis suggests that these efforts are not yielding the desired results. The funds were intended to combat organized crime in Mexico, bolster the nation’s legal system, and reduce drug smuggling into the U.S.

While the report is not about immigration per se, it is of considerable note as the Biden administration has insisted that the best path to resolving the border crisis is to pour American taxpayer dollars into troubled countries to address the key drivers of migration. This report highlights that the situation has only worsened despite years of giving money to Mexico.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has consistently stated that the cartels smuggle drugs, guns, and humans across the border and that the Biden Administration needs to step up. The Biden administration said they are addressing the issue by funneling money into these countries to alleviate why people are fleeing (violence, political prosecution, crime, etc.). Here’s what the GAO’s report revealed:

The report highlights the mutual reliance between the two countries: while the U.S. depends on Mexico to control cross-border crime and human trafficking, Mexico looks to the U.S. to stem the tide of firearms entering its territory and to reduce American drug demand. Notably, the GAO found that approximately 70% of guns seized in Mexico between 2014 and 2018 originated in the U.S.

Furthermore, most cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and illegal fentanyl entering the U.S. are sourced from Mexican cartels, as stated by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Despite the substantial aid, Mexico’s security landscape has deteriorated over the past decade and a half. Between 2007 and 2021, the country’s homicide rate surged, reaching one of the globe’s highest levels. Concurrently, Mexico’s prosecution rates for crimes remain alarmingly low.

The GAO study assessed the effectiveness of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the USAID, a/k/a U.S. Agency for International Development. The former has been instrumental in equipping and training Mexican personnel in the realms of justice, border control, military, and police. This includes providing tools for forensic labs and border monitoring. On the other hand, USAID’s initiatives have centered on fostering the rule of law, crime prevention, and human rights by collaborating with Mexican governmental bodies, NGOs, and the private sector.

However, both entities face hurdles in their operations, ranging from political to security challenges. The decreased cooperation from the administration of Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, since 2018 has further complicated matters. Additionally, some Mexican states have shown reluctance or inability to collaborate with U.S. agencies.

Corruption remains a significant impediment. The pervasive culture of impunity and corruption hampers the establishment of the rule of law and potential collaborations. For instance, some Mexican officials are in cahoots with global crime syndicates, and prosecutions are rare.

Safety concerns also pose a challenge, with high insecurity levels in certain Mexican states hindering U.S. program implementations. The report concludes that while the U.S. has faced challenges in gauging the impact of its assistance, it remains crucial for the U.S. to assess the progress of its initiatives. The lack of clear performance indicators and evaluation plans means that the U.S. cannot conclusively prove the effectiveness of its long-term investments in Mexico.