Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants

Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants

Salvadoran refugees Josue Flores Rivera and Jaquelinn Madrid Mendoza. Photo: Tamara Pearson. When it comes to immigration and refugees, Mexico’s progressive president elect, Andres Lopez Obrador, has more in common with US president Donald Trump than you’d expect.

While the world watches on as the US deports refugees and immigrants and locks up children, Mexico is already deporting more Central Americans than the US. Further, between 2016 and 2017, nearly 60,000 Central American children were detained here in migration prisons (officially dubbed “stations”). The US and Mexico are cooperating in patrolling Mexico’s southern border, implementing a security plan that has seen 85% of immigrants deported without a solid revision of their case, and Central American migrants being forced to walk for weeks in order to avoid border officials and gangs who regularly abuse migrants.

The US has designated well over US$100 million to be used on the Mexican-Guatemalan border, with former US president Barack Obama having allocated some US$2.3 – $3.5 billion annually to Plan Merida (an agreement between Mexico, Central American countries, and the US, to supposedly counter drug trafficking, crime, and money laundering in the region). These funds have gone towards spy technology, intelligence gathering, 24 Blackhawk helicopters, 2,200 Humvee vehicles, and more. Ultimately, this bilateral collaboration is a way for the US government to donate money to private arms companies, with Mexico’s southern border as an excuse.

Rather than challenging this cooperation with the US and this vision of migrants as a burden or threat, Lopez (known by his […]

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