Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) came to the Government of Mexico on December 1, 2018 – with support at the polls and historical popularity – to amend the plan to his predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto, in all aspects of his controversial mandate . One of them was the management of the arrival and transit of immigrants through its national territory. An intention that coincided with the arrival of thousands of Central Americans who, organized in caravans (up to five, between October and November), thus faced the anti-immigration policy of Donald Trump, US president, his final destination. The result was that thousands of immigrants were trapped, unable to cross the border, into border towns and makeshift camps.
Lopez Obrador then promised to carry out a work visa program for immigrants, most of them from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, who wanted to stay in the country. However, as has happened with other promises of his campaign, the president has made a significant shift.
While in the first month of his government the number of deportations was 5,717 (well below the 10,000 of the month and previous mandate), this figure tripled last April, reaching 14,970, according to the preliminary data offered by the National Institute of Migration of Mexico. In total, the number of deportations during the five months of AMLO's Government amounts to 45,370 deportations. This figure exceeds those of its predecessor who, in the same period, expelled 43,662 and 36,025 immigrants in the previous two years.
Pressure of Trump
The arrests and expulsions appear to mark a change in AMLO's policy. After initially promising work visas – which encouraged thousands of immigrants to travel to Mexico – the program was suspended on January 30.
Many see this change of attitude, which has turned Mexico into a kind of "invisible wall" towards the United States, as a response to the pressure applied by Trump during the last months, in which he has criticized very hard the lack of response of the Mexican Government to the massive arrival of immigrants to its southern border.
A pressure that has achieved results and that the US president has not hesitated to applaud, as demonstrated in statements made last April 8 from the White House, collected by CNN: "Mexico has been absolutely fantastic in the last four days. They are stopping everyone. Yesterday they detained 1,400 people. The day before there were a thousand. And if they stop people on their southern border, it's a big home run. "
López Obrador, who denies contradictions in his immigration policy, seems to have assimilated Trump's speech, coming to describe him as "logical". Last April, in one of his press conferences, AMLO justified the arrest of Central Americans: "We do not want them to have free passage, not only for legal reasons, but for security reasons." . (tagsToTranslate) mexico (t) deportations