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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador once said that immigration to the United States is a “human right,” one that his government would observe and defend. And yet it seems now that fear of President Trump’s tariffs has changed AMLO’s tune.
The Mexican government on Wednesday arrested 350 Central Americans, including two prominent “migrant rights” activists, who were part of a large group headed toward the United States. Mexico is also planning to deploy an additional 6,000 national guard troops to its border with Guatemala.
It gets better.
The day after those activists were arrested, the Mexican Finance Ministry froze the bank accounts of 26 individuals for their alleged involvement in facilitating migrant caravans to the United States from Central America.
It took about a week after Trump threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff—for starters—on all Mexican exports to the United States for Obrador to bend the knee. In fact, Obrador has gone so far as to offer “a sweeping overhaul of asylum rules across” Mexico, the Washington Post reports.
So much for immigration to the United States as a “human right.”
The proposed asylum overhaul has three parts. First, it would require that Central Americans seek refuge in the first country they enter, rather than the United States.
Second, migrants who arrive at the U.S. border would be deported to the “third country”—in this case, Mexico. (It’s important to note that Mexico has never recognized the “third country” agreement, until now.)
Third, migrants who express fear of physical harm in their home country—a claim generally made out of expediency by migrants all too familiar with squishy U.S. immigration laws—would be subjected to a tougher screening process and thus more likely to be rejected.
If Mexico is true to its word, this in all would amount to a major victory. Still other, smaller victories abound.
Minors who had attempted to enter the United States illegally could until recently help themselves to English classes, soccer, and even legal aid while living in federal migrant shelters. This, of course, was all financed by the unwitting American taxpayer.
As of June 5, however, the Trump Administration announced it would end all such recreational activities and services. Law-breaking will no longer be rewarded with ping-pong matches and taxpayer-subsidized legal and educational services. Shame.
Then there is the case of Scott Warren, a professor at Arizona State University and a volunteer with No More Deaths. Warren was arrested in 2018 by Border Patrol agents on charges of harboring illegal aliens, for which he is facing up to 20 years in prison. His trial began last week.
Though it may boggle little liberal minds, illegal immigration is illegal, and Warren was aiding and abetting illegal aliens at a time when Border Patrol has been apprehending them by thousands—literally. A group of 1,036 illegal aliens found in the El Paso sector—the largest ever apprehended at a single time—were intercepted by Border Patrol border on May 30. To punish Warren, then, not only sends a message to others like him but shows respect for the rule of law and for the men and women in the line of duty.
Trump’s hardball with Mexico, the austere changes to migrant detention centers, and the punishing of subversive activists indicate favorable winds for American nationalists. “Trump’s America” increasingly appears to be a nation of laws, and no country for illegal aliens.
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Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images