Trump’s immigration policies generate strong reactions across Mexico
In his speech to the United States Congress on Tuesday, President Donald Trump reiterated his plan to build a border wall and to crackdown on undocumented immigrants. Though he did not mention Mexico specifically, his words nevertheless have generated strong reactions in the country.
Trump has authorized U.S. agents to step up their hunt for millions of people in the U.S. without immigration papers. Many of them are Mexicans.
Alejandro Fonseca was deported twice from the U.S., he supports Trump’s plans to remove undocumented migrants with criminal records.
“I honestly think that if you broke the law, you deserve to get deported. Plain and simple. I did it and I always say deserved it,”said Fonseca.
A top Mexican immigration official said the Trump administration’s deportation efforts so far show little difference when compared to his predecessor, President Barack Obama, at least as it relates to this sector of the border.
“I understand that there is a general concern arising from the statements of the President of the United States on the issue of migration, but it is also true that no substantive changes have taken place,” said Rodulfo Figueroa Pachecho, a delegate with the Federal Immigration Institute delegate.
Trump’s insistence on building a border wall is being criticized in Mexico.
“President Trump’s plan to build a wall is absurd and for people who live on the border and understand how borders function, we know that a wall is not going to keep drugs out of the United States. The United States is one of the biggest consumers of drugs in the world,” Nicole Ramos, an immigration attorney and advocate.
Trump also vowed to slap heavy border taxes on Mexican products entering the United States. Mexico’s economy minister warns his country will break from the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations if Trump keeps that promise.
Carlos Heredia, a leading economist based at the CIDE University in Mexico City, said when it comes to negotiating trade agreements, the Trump administration has far more power than Mexico.
“Mexico’s margin for negotiation is narrow, but precisely for that reason, Mexico perhaps has to think of a strategy for the medium and long-term,” said Heredia.
Mexico has indicated its desire to increase commerce with other nations, including China, which after the U.S., is Mexico’s second biggest trading partner. But that could take years to achieve.
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