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 March 14, 2023

Senator Bob Menendez take shots at Biden admin over cartels, border policies

The situation at the southern U.S. border has become so disastrous for the Biden administration that even some top Democrats are expressing their frustrations, even misguided ones. 

One of those Democrats is Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who slammed the Biden administration, and the president himself, in a recent interview with NBC's Chuck Todd. Menendez came up with a new nickname for the president that he probably won't like.

The criticism came in the wake of four Americans having been kidnapped by Mexican cartel members. Two of those Americans were murdered, and two managed to make it back home.

Todd asked Menendez what the plan should be given that the current Mexican government wants the U.S. government to stay out of its business, even on the cartel front.

"This is one of our great challenges. President López Obrador talked about, when the took office, kisses and not bullets. That’s not working very well. It is the cartels that run the border communities, not the government of Mexico," the New Jersey Democrat responded.

He added: "Mexico has a responsibility, first and foremost to its own citizens to establish safety and security within its own territory and to those who visit its country, as well. So we need to up dramatically our engagement in Mexico and it can’t be about economics and it has to be about safety and security, as well."

Menendez argued that it's imperative that Mexico take full responsibility for the issue and invite U.S. assistance, especially on the intelligence front, which could be a game-changer for the Mexican military and law enforcement in going against the powerful cartels.

"I am afraid that we are headed in the wrong direction on that and on democracy questions, as well. This is a present danger that we have to deal with and we have to engage the Mexicans in a way that says you have to do a lot more in your security. We can help them and we have intelligence and other information we can share, but we need them to enforce in their own country," Menendez continued.

Menendez also slammed the president for a different immigration-related reason, saying he would be the "Asylum-denier-in-chief" if he allows the return of the family detention program at the border.

“If the administration does go down this path, I am afraid that the president will become the Asylum Denier-in-Chief," Menendez said.

Notably, he also refused to go along with the idea of naming Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations, which is interesting given that cartels are violent and powerful and organized, just like terrorist organizations.

At the very least, his words show that the topic is one that will undoubtedly cause some intra-party strife in the coming months and as the 2024 election nears.

Only time will tell if the Biden administration takes the actions necessary to mitigate the border crisis, but one would be advised to hold one's breath in anticipation of that happening.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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