Sunday, February 02, 2020

Mexico and the caravans: If you stop them they won't come

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Down on the Guatemala-Mexico border, it’s like a return to the good old days, or when Mexico was very tough on Central Americans trying to walk up to the U.S.
I have spoken with Central Americans over the years, and they will relate horrific stories of crossing Mexico, from rape of young women to indefinite incarceration to just plain nasty “federales.”
Well, President López-Obrador has turned out to be a great illegal immigration ally.  He just plain shut down the caravans.  He did it by just stopping the people at the border, as we see in this from the AP:
Mexico has made clear that it will no longer allow large caravans to pass through its territory, following intense pressure and threatened trade tariffs from Washington last year.
Early caravans beginning in late 2018 were largely permitted passage, at times receiving humanitarian aid and transportation from local communities and governments.  But now Mexico has thousands of National Guard troops deployed to support immigration enforcement, and Guatemala, too, returned hundreds from the most recent caravan to Honduras.
When negotiations with a de facto spokesman for the caravan broke down along a highway in the southern state of Chiapas last week, Mexican guardsmen banging batons against riot shields advanced and engaged.  There was shoving and pepper spray in the chaos.  Many sobbed as they allowed themselves to be escorted to the buses, while others fled or resisted and were cornered or subdued.
López Obrador on Friday praised the troops, saying, “The National Guard behaved very well. It resisted, it held firm, it did not give in to provocations.”
The president also said there were no human rights violations. Some human rights groups have expressed concerns about the operation, including the detention of children and other vulnerable people in the caravan.
Well, AMLO, as the president is called, drew a line, and he is enforcing it!
President López-Obrador’s tough actions has many in the Mexico calling him “Trump’s enforcer.”  In fact, he is only enforcing Mexican laws.
I’ve had several conversations with Mexicans, and nobody is complaining about troops on the border.  In other words, they don’t want the caravans either, especially since they seem to be bringing people from lots of different places.
Let’s give Mr. AMLO his due here.  Or let’s remember the line from Field of Dreams about how if you build it, they will come.  In this case, if you stop them, they won’t come.
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