Now Mexicans are screaming ‘migrants go home’
My guess is that the people behind the caravan didn’t plan for things to work out this way. As that Bee Gees’ song goes: “Oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was on me.”
The caravan planners have a few problems.
First, they were not expecting President Trump to take a firm stand and then enforce it.
Second, they didn’t see those anti-caravan marches in Tijuana happening.
Most importantly, third, they didn’t realize the terrible situation that all of this would put President-Elect Andrés López-Obrador in.
This is from the New York Times and right on target:
After more than 15 years of campaigning as a leftist firebrand, Mr. López Obrador must swiftly decide: Will he stand up to Mr. Trump and defend the migrants’ pleas to be allowed into the United States, even if many of their asylum requests will ultimately be rejected? Or will he acquiesce to Mr. Trump’s demands and the economic imperative of good relations with the United States?
“The Mexican government is in a dead-end alley,” said Raúl Benítez Manaut, a professor of international relations at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
“López Obrador is facing a baptism of fire, and a dilemma of whether he should maintain his promises of humanitarian policies, or stop the masses of migrants trying to reach the U.S.”
Baptism of fire? More like a no-win situation.
The article finishes by saying Mr. López-Obrador needs to calm things down because they are heated south of the border.
Here are a couple of things to remember:
Tijuana is in the north of Mexico, or the states that border with the U.S. This is the home of the PAN, or the right-center party.
These states are skeptical of Mexico’s central government. I recall a Mexican friend in Monterrey saying this: “Why am I paying taxes so that those people in Mexico have a cheap metro?”
These Mexicans are more prosperous and closer to the U.S. than the rest of the country. In other words, the Dallas Cowboys are on TV every Sunday, at home and at la cantina, where men get together for a beer.
This is not the part of the country that elected López-Obrador. Instead, this is where you find cities like Tijuana and Monterrey with large middle-class populations. Many professionals work for maquiladoras (foreign companies) or send their kids to U.S. colleges.
Also, it’s impossible for Mexico to defend the caravan. That will just invite more caravans.
Finally, Mexico’s political class loves illegal immigration when Mexicans are going north and send remittances to Mexico. In this case, we are talking about Central Americans, not Mexicans. What are they sending back? Nothing! They don’t even pay a toll when they go through Mexico.
The caravan has blown up in the faces of its framers. The days of caravans through Mexico are over.
President-Elect López-Obrador has to make a decision. Do I pick a fight with Trump and the Mexican middle class that I can’t win? Or do I send the Central Americans home? Hopefully, the incoming president has the common sense to make the right call.