Migration, Back in the Spotlight

Trump’s new plan would expand the use of floating barriers in border rivers, [a tactic] initiated by the government of Texas and now a focus of protest.

A possible Republican victory in the 2024 U.S. presidential elections, especially for former President Donald Trump, would mean the “Texanization” of U.S. immigration and border policy, according to some sources.

Subject to conditions that could lead to Trump’s eventual return to the White House, the situation would imply a considerable cooling of relations with Mexico, especially if he faced an oppositional Congress.

Indeed, remember that lawmakers in Texas championed legislative proposals to authorize the use of U.S. military assets, including special forces, to attack drug cartels in Mexico.

Issues contributing to the position taken by U.S. groups opposed to immigration include drug smuggling, especially fentanyl; the increasing diversification of cartel activities; as well as the claim that the border with Mexico is vulnerable to the entry of narcotics and terrorists.

Trump’s new plan would expand the use of floating barriers in border rivers, [a tactic] initiated by the Texas government and now the focus of Mexican diplomatic protest. It would ramp up charges from the U.S. federal government that local government is overstepping its authority, as well as from Latino activists who would claim the violation of human rights.

In addition, he would seek to finalize the wall he proposed to build along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump spent billions of dollars rebuilding or erecting 452 miles (approximately 730 kilometers) of fencing on sections of 1,954 miles (3,140 km) along the southern border. Joe Biden stopped the project.

Under the leadership of Greg Abbott, Texas has implemented a policy that does not exclude family separation and the use of legal traps against undocumented immigrants. Abbott is now considered to be a possible White House candidate, along with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his closest competitor. The Texan governor instigated the controversial plan that aimed to send detained migrants to northern U.S. cities.

According to a report published by the online newspaper Axios, Trump’s focus is on the southern border, “but he’s also poised to severely curtail legal immigration — a plan likely to be controversial at a time when many experts say the U.S. increasingly needs immigrants to fuel its economy.”

In general terms, Trump’s proposal would be a scaled-up version of his administration’s anti-immigration plans from 2016-2020 and, as with those, Mexico’s forced cooperation would be emphasized.

The problem, in any case, will be for the administration succeeding that of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which ends in September 2024. The new U.S. administration will be in place in January 2025.

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