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America's Second Most Important Presidential Election of 2024

With AMLO Stepping Down, Mexico's Presidential Election on June 2 Could Have More Impact on America's Border Crisis Than Our Own.

Article Written by Jett James Pruitt

As voters prepare for the vitriolic tsunami known as the 2024 U.S. Presidential Election re-match between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Americans should closely follow the other presidential election that will have tremendous influence on U.S. border security and immigration policies.


Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security announced it will institute a new rule aimed at fast-tracking the asylum claims process for some migrants, especially those with criminal records or otherwise viewed as ineligible for asylum in the United States.

As reported by the Associated Press, federal law currently stipulates that migrants who arrive at the border are allowed to undergo the process to seek asylum after passing an initial screening for ‘credible fear,’ even if they have a criminal background in their home country. Afterwards, a judge determines whether the migrant is granted asylum.

Following the May 9th announcement, border patrol agents and officers will now be empowered to deny migrants asylum at the initial screening stage, rather than wait for a judge. In effect, this proposal will basically allow federal agents to deport individuals at an earlier stage of the review process, which often takes years to complete.

The U.S. Mexico Border Crisis is a Major Issue Among American Voters.

In a public statement, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas explained “The proposed rule we have published today is yet another step in our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of the American public by more quickly identifying and removing those individuals who present a security risk and have no legal basis to remain here.” He added that “We will continue to take action, but fundamentally it is only Congress that can fix what everyone agrees is a broken immigration system.”


Rather unsurprisingly, the recent DHS announcement has drawn immense criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. Conservative politicians charge the new rule is unsubstantial in stemming the flow of undocumented immigration, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott calling the proposal “feckless” and a way “to mask the crisis [Biden] created.”

Meanwhile, Democrats believe the announcement is misguided. Indeed, more than 80 lawmakers (including members of the Congressional Hispanic and Progressive caucuses) signed a letter urging President Biden to prioritize providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, rather than focus on deportation.

In a separate interview with NBC News, Representative Alex Padilla (D-CA) asserted that “As the Biden administration considers executive actions on immigration, we must not return to failed Trump policies aimed at banning asylum and moving us backwards.”


This episode clearly demonstrates how partisan gridlock has greatly undermined public consensus on key immigration policies. For this reason, the results of the upcoming Presidential Election in Mexico on June 2, 2024 are more important than ever.

Mexico's Presidential Candidates: Claudia Sheinbaum (L) and Xóchitl Gálvez (R)

As of this writing, former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum is the most favored candidate to win. A member of the ruling left-wing National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), Sheinbaum is viewed as a protégé of incumbent President Andrés Manual López Obrador — commonly referred to by his acronym, AMLO.

Meanwhile, the main opposition candidate is Xóchitl Gálvez, a tech entrepreneur and former member of the Mexican Senate. Gálvez is supported by the three-party ‘Strength and Heart for Mexico’ coalition, which seeks to end the wave of leftist populism associated with AMLO.

Finally, former National Deputy Jorge Álvarez Máynez is looking to stage a political upset with the backing of the Citizen’s Movement, although he is trailing in a distant third-place and struggling to gain momentum.


Over the previous six years, AMLO’s administration has instituted a series of nationalist policies aimed at narrowing the country’s wealth gap and improving living conditions for the country’s poorest citizens. Among other things, his government enacted extensive labor reform, raised the national minimum wage, and instituted direct payments to tens of millions of impoverished Mexicans.

Moreover, his government presided over the construction of several large infrastructure projects intended to spur job creation and promote international tourism, including an oil refinery in his home state of Tabasco and a train line through the Yucatan peninsula. Simply put, these initiatives have made AMLO a popular leader, with his approval rating hovering above 60% for most of his presidency.


Of course, just like any other world leader, AMLO certainly has his fair share of critics both at home and abroad.


Notably, AMLO has been criticized by conservative commentators for disregarding U.S. border security and not adequately addressing the flow of immigration from Mexico. In a 60 Minutes interview with journalist Sharyn Alfonsi, AMLO described how he previously told the Biden Administration in December 2023 that he would only help contain the flow of migrants if the U.S. were to grant $20 billion a year to lower-income nations in Latin America and the Caribbean, repeal sanctions on Venezuela, end the decades-long embargo against Cuba, and offer a pathway to citizenship to millions of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the U.S.

In that month, border crossings peaked at more than 300,000 migrant encounters at the southern border. When pressed as to whether he intended this to be diplomatic blackmail, AMLO merely asserted “I am speaking frankly, we have to say things as they are, and I always say what I feel.”

Mexico's Current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO)

Furthermore, AMLO has attracted immense controversy for abruptly ending Mexico’s War on Drugs and adopting a non-confrontational approach to dealing with drug-trafficking cartels, in what he calls the Abrazos no Balazos (Hugs, Not Bullets) doctrine.

This policy has been harshly criticized by many security analysts, who deem it as a failed objective and argue that it has not reduced rampant cartel-related violence throughout Mexico. Notably, the estimated number of individuals employed by cartels increased from 115,000 to 175,000 between 2013 and 2023, indicating that drug trafficking organizations have expanded their reach across the country.

When asked by Alfonsi as to whether he would be willing to negotiate a peace agreement with the cartels, AMLO retorted, “What you have to do with the criminals is apply the law. But I’m not going to establish contact.”

With relation to the upcoming election, it appears that Sheinbaum will largely continue AMLO’s ‘hugs, not bullets’ doctrine if elected president.

In April 2024, she asserted “Instead of declaring war (on drug cartels), we build peace. That’s the big difference between the opposition and us.” Furthermore, Sheinbaum promises to disentangle the armed forces from combating the cartels and instead focus on improving the training of police, which includes increasing officer’s salaries and investing in intelligence-gathering capabilities.

Regarding migration, Sheinbaum is expected to maintain AMLO’s insistence on an expansion of work permits and visas for Mexican nationals in the United States, as well as adopt MORENA’s strident opposition to the construction of a border wall. Overall, these measures would largely signal a continuity of her predecessor’s approach to bilateral security.


In contrast, Gálvez has taken a much more belligerent stance against the criminal organizations. Speaking in the city of Fresnillo, Zacatecas, she declared “Hugs for criminals are over. To have a Mexico without fear, we’re going to restrain the most violent and aggressive criminal organizations in our country.” Gálvez has also promised to create a national investigative police force to reduce the rate of disappearances and kidnappings across the country.


With respect to migration, Gálvez has emphasized the importance of strategic cooperation with the United States in addressing this sensitive issue.

Speaking at Georgetown University Americas Institute in February 2024, Gálvez contended that AMLO did not foster a constructive relationship with his American counterparts and that future Mexican leadership must value collaboration with the U.S. She also asserted that U.S. leaders must also look beyond surface level issues when offering solutions to chronic corruption, insecurity, and limited economic opportunities in Mexico. In her words, “It seems like the United States is only concerned with migration and fentanyl, but our relationship runs far deeper than that.”

Presidential Candidate Xóchitl Gálvez is Currently Polling in Second Place.

As of this moment, electoral momentum is on MORENA’s side, with Sheinbaum clearly ahead of both Gálvez and Máynez. A May 14 poll conducted by consulting firm Mitofsky shows Sheinbaum at 49 percent support, Gálvez at 28 percent, and Máynez at roughly 10 percent. In the words of political scientist Carlos Pérez Ricart, “MORENA arrives in unbeatable condition. Never has the official candidacy had so much wind at its back as it has now.”


Aside from the presidential election, Mexican voters will also elect all 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies and all 128 members of the Senate on June 2. AMLO is unable to run for re-election, as presidents are ineligible to serve in office after the expiration of their six-year term (i.e., sexenio).


Moving forward, Americans should closely watch the outcome of our closet neighbor’s presidential election because the new Mexican Presidential Administration will have a profound impact on U.S. border security and flow of immigration from South and Central America over the next several years.


In a nutshell, a Sheinbaum Presidency will largely be a continuation of AMLO’s policies, whereas a Gálvez Presidency may result in stricter regulations of migration from within Mexico and more expansive law enforcement operations against cartels.


Each issue is sensitive to the United States, with close to 2.5 million migrants crossing the southern border in Fiscal Year 2023, and nearly 70,000 Americans dying from fentanyl-related overdoses on an annual basis.

What are your thoughts? Please share this article with your comments.

Born in 2005, Jett James Pruitt is a Native American, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of the bestselling book THROUGH THE EYES OF A YOUNG AMERICAN. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of, and is a political strategist specializing in Generation Z voting trends. His next book, THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE: What America's Political Parties Must Do To Win Over Generation Z, is due in major bookstores worldwide later this summer.



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