The possibility that a politically unstable or economically weak Mexico will lead to mass migration is the United States’ nightmare.
The appointment of Ken Salazar as the new U.S. ambassador to Mexico on the same day that Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas made a working visit to the Mexican capital highlights the importance and complications of the bilateral relationship.
The United States ambassadorship in Mexico is anything but an easy position: the U.S. and Mexico are countries that are geopolitically, economically and socially enormously important to each other, united and separated by a 3,000-kilometer border (approximately 1,864 miles).
In June, the successive presence of CIA Director William Burns, presumably there to address security cooperation; Vice President Kamala Harris, to speak with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador about political issues, particularly migration, and Mayorkas, who oversees immigration, customs, and border protection services, is a sign of interest in Mexico.
It could be said that the visits are looking to establish, or reestablish (depending on your point of view), working arrangements and understanding between López Obrador’s government, arising from what in the U.S. is seen as the real need for national security — the fight against drug trafficking and human traffickers.
Our interest is peaked by economic and commercial, social and political relationships that, closely intertwined, are in the same family as municipal, business, state and federal relationships.
The fact is that what goes on in the United States has repercussions in Mexico, and although it may be less spectacular, much of what happens in our country has an impact on the U.S.
The possibility that a politically unstable and economically weak Mexico will lead to mass migration with all kinds of natural consequences for the United States is a nightmare for the U.S. administration.
Running parallel to this is the concern that organized crime in Mexico will become so powerful that it will defy government control and become a security issue for American authorities if linked to international extremist groups.
Add to that concerns over ecology, reflected in the environmental crisis that’s already affecting the two countries by way of a drought hitting the American West and parts of the Mexican Northwest through the binational water supply, and also in the differences with regard to power generation and U.S. energy investments in Mexico.
With that in mind, Biden has appointed Salazar, a 66-year-old environmental lawyer, a former senator who later served as secretary of the interior under former President Barack Obama, and who worked with then-Vice President Joe Biden.
And although much of the relationship should be resolved in the capital cities, it won’t rest there.