Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mexico deports a lot more than you may think

During my time in Mexico, I learned a couple of things about Mexico’s immigration laws.  
First, Mexico is dead serious about immigrations laws. Our company hired an immigration lawyer to process all the paperwork. He came around once a year for us to sign our renewals, tax statements, and whatever else the Foreign Ministry required of us working and living there. 
One time I said laughing: “Why are you guys so picky with us… all we do is pay taxes and spend our dollars”.   
My Mexican attorney friend broke out laughing and said “Mensaje amigo, mensaje”. 
In other words, “message” or that we don’t want the word to get out that this is an easy country for people to come into. He was of course referring to people who may use Mexico to go to the U.S.
Second, Mexico deports a lot. In fact, it’s something that most in the political class admit up front to remind the voters that they are looking out for them. Putting Mexico first is something that every Mexican president repeats proudly.
Yes, Mexico deports and quite a bit, as we saw this week in this article by Adriana Peralta, an advocate for El Salvador refugees who get caught up in Mexico:
The history of immigration in Mexico can be defined by its constant request to the United States for more ease of access, and by Mexico’s own deportation of other immigrants who enter the country through its southern border.
In 2016 there were 174,526 foreigners returned to their countries of origin, according to Mexico’s Ministry of Interior. 
Of those, 142,509 people were from the Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras).
In that same year, the United States expelled 240,255 people — 76,472 of which were from the Northern Triangle, and 149,821 more that were from Mexico.
The writer is someone who looks out for El Salvador immigrants, who often get caught up in Mexico without much of a chance for due process.
To be honest, I understand Mexico’s position. They have a border with the U.S. and would be flooded with people using its territory to go to the U.S., including Cubans who now being sent back to the island, too.
At the same time, it shows the hypocrisy of Mexico’s political class when they talk about illegal immigration in the U.S.  
They hope that we don’t see them talking out of both sides of their mouths, as they saying goes. In my case, and for most of us who understand Mexico, we see the hypocrisy and wish that it would stop.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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