A majority of Mexicans are unhappy with the increased migration of Central Americans illegally traveling through their country to the United States, finds a new survey conducted by the Washington Post and Mexico’s Reforma newspaper.
Fifty-five percent of Mexicans surveyed said they support deporting Central American migrants to their home countries. Only 7 percent said they should be given residency in Mexico. The data also found that more than 6 in 10 Mexicans say migrants are a burden on their country because they take jobs and benefits that should belong to Mexicans. The survey was conducted in person, in 100 election districts throughout Mexico.
The Washington Post writes that the survey data defies, “the perception that Mexico — a country that has sent millions of its own migrants to the United States, sending billions of dollars in remittances — is sympathetic to the surge of Central Americans,” and that Mexicans are now “turning against the migrants.”
It’s unclear, though, whether that supposed perception ever actually existed. Before he was elected, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador advocated for legal protections for illegally present foreign citizens, but he has since increased immigration enforcement because of its popularity.
Odd that this WaPo story on the unpopularity of illegal imm in Mexico posits there's a "perception that Mexico… is sympathetic to the surge of Central Americans." Perception among whom? AMLO has been willing to crack down on CA migrants bc it's popular. https://t.co/FH1hwbg0Ho
— John Daniel Davidson (@johnddavidson) July 17, 2019
The combination of increased migration and increased enforcement of U.S. immigration laws under the Trump administration has resulted in an increase of asylum seekers who must wait on Mexican soil for their hearings. Entrance to a better economy is not a reason for which foreign citizens may legally claim U.S. asylum, although the vast majority of the current surge in foreign migrants are doing so, according to U.S. court records.
“The number [of migrants] that the federal government is talking about is impossible for us to deal with,” said Miguel Ángel Riquelme Solís, governor of Coahuila, at a news conference.
The Washington Post reports that Mexico expects to receive 60,000 asylum seekers waiting for a hearing. “López Obrador has said those migrants will be given work permits, but it remains unclear who will provide their shelter or food. Many are likely to spend months in Mexico before they are granted or denied asylum in the United States,” reporters Kevin Sieff and Scott Clement.
Last fall, when a caravan of 3,000 foreigners arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, they encountered local, angry protestors chanting, “Mexico First!” according to a Vice News video of the scene.
“There’s too many people,” protester Josefina Arangure told Vice. “We won’t be able to control it. A lot of people are going to stay and get jobs, others are just going to commit crimes.”