More than 35 million Mexicans – affected by the misery and colonial plundering of this country – have emigrated to the United States for decades in search of a future for their families. In recent years, the overwhelming majority of them have suffered and continue to suffer discrimination, humiliation, and increasing persecution and deportation by governments – both Democrat and Republican. All this in light of the complete abandonment and absence of any defense by Mexican governments, faithful servants of the imperialist master.
By CST-Mexico (Corriente Socialista de Trabajadores) May/11/20
During his 2018 election campaign, López Obrador visited many large U.S. cities and promoted rallies with our countrymen, where he squandered demagogy, promising to “defend the dignity of our people”. However, his current government, despite this “sovereign” rhetoric, has not differentiated itself in the least from its predecessors in the face of the growing wave of xenophobia and racism promoted by Donald Trump. We have all witnessed the servile attitude of Chancellor Marcelo Ebrard in response to blackmail from the White House boss. We all know that the newly founded Mexican National Guard acts as the “Border Patrol” of the United States, not only in the North but also on the Southern border with Guatemala. We witnessed AMLO’s permanent concessions to sign T-MEC, which perpetuates Mexico’s colonial subjugation. Now López Obrador – in the midst of the pandemic and the wave of Trump deportations – announced his intention to travel to the United States to celebrate such a surrender.
With the Covid-19 pandemic that is especially raging in the U.S., it is once again Mexican migrants, along with African Americans, who are suffering most from infection and death in the big cities of the imperialist power. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that, as of April 28, the number of Mexicans who had died in the United States from COVID-19 had risen to 566, in addition to 154 cases of contagion” (El Universal 28-04-2020). This figure, from two weeks ago, is -of course- only a partial record due to the conditions in which many migrants and their families live, work and die.
Mexican immigrants gave a lot of hope, work and money to AMLO’s project. They expected a radical change in the Mexican consulates, once he would take office. However, that change never comes. The consulates continue to be business centers that profit from the needs of immigrants. There is mistreatment, neglect and humiliating contempt for those who request indispensable services. And they are charged very high fees. As with previous governments, they continue to restrict the hours and access to their facilities and services. The bureaucracy of ”internet service”-when not everyone has access to it- continues. Discontent is growing due to obstacles and preliminary appointments in order to be helped or to file complaints.
In this context, the repression and new wave of deportations from Trump to migrants is even more outrageous. “In the first quarter of the year 57,475 Mexicans were deported. That is 14% more than the same period in 2019, according to official data”… “A quarter of the Mexicans deported by the United States in the first stage of the Covid-19 emergency were returned through Tijuana, Baja California, one of the most affected cities in Mexico”… “U.S. officials warn that they will not stop these migration controls, arguing that they will eliminate risks in the face of the expansion of the coronavirus, but they also affirm that with and without the pandemic they will continue with this vigilance against illegal migration”… (La Jornada May 6, 2020).
And it’s not just xenophobic and racist Trump and the states governed by the right wing of the Republican party. In fact, Baja California -where there are many deportations-, borders with California, supposed “immigrant sanctuary state”, where not only four private detention centers for migrants are maintained, but their contracts were extended for 15 more years, days before this ”new democrat law” went into effect. This shows the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party and its allies, grouped into large NGOs, also in terms of their alleged “defense of immigrants.
Nothing is being done by the Mexican government to confront this offensive against Mexican migrants. However, it has the nerve to present as “good news” the sacrifice of those millions of countrymen and women, who with their modest remittances, sustain Mexico’s economy. In his recent speech on Saturday, May 9, AMLO “highlighted the remittances received in March, 4 billion dollars, as Mexico’s main source of income, “and I have information that April will be the same”. He stated that migrants made 10 million remittances, each on average 380 dollars, equivalent to 9 thousand pesos”. (La Jornada 10-05-2020).
In other words, He recognizes that the value of the labor force of Mexicans abroad is the main support of the coffers of the Mexican state. And that has been the case for decades: last year total remittances were 36 billion dollars. This helped cover up the brutal decline in GDP in 2019, which grew by only 0.1 percent. This year, in the face of plummeting oil and tourism prices, remittances will be even more of a source of income.
Let’s demand the government of López Obrador:
- Declare as national priority, the defense of human and labor rights of all Mexican migrants in the U.S. and Canada.
- Guarantee with resources from the Mexican state, the health and integrity of migrants and their families, through the Mexican consulates to the authorities of the country where they reside.
- Demand that the Trump government immediately cease the persecution and deportation of Mexican citizens, or otherwise suspend the T-MEC accord.
- For Mexico to stop being the border police and jailer of the United States.
- Guarantee access to free services for all migrants from other countries; who are victims of human rights violations, theft of documents or extortion by Mexican immigration officials while in Mexico, and who were left in legal limbo.