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#GuestColumn | Migrants and government inconsistency

#GuestColumn | Migrants and government inconsistency

A few months later, during the transition stage between the government of Peña Nieto and López Obrador, the now Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, negotiated with the White House the implementation of the “Stay in Mexico” program that violates international treaties and our own legislation. The goal of this program is for US officials to send asylum seekers who arrived in their territory to Mexico. From January 2019 to January 2021, the Trump administration sent more than 71,000 asylum seekers to Mexico under this program, including thousands of children (Human Rights Watch).

Trump’s racist legacy is still being litigated in court. In March 2020, the White House promoted the so-called Title 42, a provision that allows the US government to immediately expel migrants who enter its territory, including asylum seekers. Last week a judge prevented the Biden administration from lifting this provision, a decision that prolongs the risks and threats that thousands of migrants experience. Since this measure was implemented, the US has applied it to more than 1.9 million people.

No one decides to cross the desert, cross the river, hire smugglers, deal with traffickers, expose themselves to sexual abuse or even death, if there is not an even greater threat from which they have to flee. In 2021, Honduras reported a homicide rate (per 100,000 inhabitants) of 38.6, Mexico 26, El Salvador 17.6, and Guatemala 16.6 (InSight Crime). Additionally, the pandemic seriously impoverished Latin America, leaving an additional 22 million people in poverty (ECLAC).

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