President Donald Trump’s policies aimed at deporting millions of undocumented people put Mexico in a complicated junction regarding Central American immigrants.
North-bound migration coming from Central America is one of the contentious points that stood out during the last meeting between Mexico and U.S. authorities. It is a cause for dispute and disagreement between Los Pinos and the White House.
The discrepancy is based on the Trump Administration’s unheard of, unilateral decision to deport people who are not Mexican citizens, mostly Central Americans, to Mexico.
The proposed agreement is for Mexico to accept that controlling Central American immigration to the north is a “shared responsibility” between them and the United States.
This scenario fits into the definition offered by Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray at the meeting, stating that Mexico is currently a “transit” country, not an exporter of migrants. This is a politically-motivated mistake.
It is true that there has been a reduction in Mexican migration due to a number of factors ranging from demographics to the economic and political climate in the U.S. However, the government of Peña-Nieto is trying to use this to hide the fact that poverty and lack of opportunity are the reasons behind the outmigration.
At the same time, the “transit country” definition allows Mexico to further adjust their Frontera Sur (“South Border”) Program, which has already deported hundreds of thousands of Central Americans. The restriction is carried out in the name of the U.S., but is acts in Mexico’s own interest.
Many Central American immigrants are choosing to stay in Mexico in light of the difficulties the U.S. represents at the moment. In the absence of the “American Dream,” a “Mexican Dream” sounds better than the reality of Central America.
The challenge for the Mexican government is to remain coherent. It must grant Central American undocumented people the same rights and treatment it demands from the U.S. Meanwhile, Mexicans should not discriminate or mistreat these immigrants.
The “United States of Trump” is a merciless threat against undocumented people. Mexico is obligated to be different, to avoid falling in the trap of hypocrisy.