On Migration, Not a Clue


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador have one thing in common: When it comes to migration, they don’t have the slightest idea. Two different approaches, both showing a lack of understanding of the problems associated with the phenomenon and how to address them.

They also face the intrinsic issue of receiving migrants (Mexico also deports them) and share more than 1,500 kilometers (approximately 932 miles) of border. The United States border extends over 3,152 kilometers (approximately 1,958 miles).

After Texas enacted Senate Bill 4, which enables Texas to expel migrants immediately at the place at which they enter the state, López Obrador refused to accept the people deported.

A U.S. federal court of appeals blocked the law on March 19, saying its proponents could not explain what impact it would have, and noting there would be repercussions from the violation of human rights of those deported to a decrease in the labor supply for Texas and other U.S states.

But beyond the inhumanity of the law or the fact that it is temporarily blocked, what will López Obrador do if migrants are sent to our country?

Donald Trump made it clear that the National Guard functioned as a retaining wall to keep migrants from crossing into the land of our northern neighbor.

It has also become clear that, in Mexico, there are “different levels of care for migrants. You may recall the fire in Ciudad Juárez that killed 40 migrants. Almost a year after negligence turned into tragedy on March 27, 2023, Francisco Garduño, the head of Mexico’s immigration agency remains in his post. There is no justice for the dead migrants. In this event as with the daily treatment migrants receive, it is clear that our country has no moral authority.

The adverse conditions that the majority of migrants face when they try to cross the Río Bravo are entirely in contrast to opportunities Mexico affords to Venezuelan migrants. López Obrador will give our tax money away to anyone who wants to return to Venezuela, thanks to an agreement Mexico has signed with Nicolás Maduro, which allocates $110 per month per person for six months.

How many Venezuelan migrants will receive this gift? No one knows, nor will they. This is money that Mexico could put to good use in our country. Moreover, it’s pathetic, and reflects how cynical Maduro and López Obrador are, that this money will be in U.S. dollars, not Mexican pesos or Venezuelan bolivars.

As for Abbott and his anti-immigrant law, if it is restored, what will he do? And what can López Obrador do? The answer is nothing. He is only paying lip-service to the migrant problem, and although he says he will not stand idly by, we already know he has little say in the matter.

Meanwhile, he has already said the Mexican government opposed SB4 because “it violates the norms of human coexistence (and) not only international law, but even violates the Bible.” We know the Bible is not the law in our country, nor does it talk about migrants, but it doesn’t matter, because on migration issues, our president is clueless.

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About Hannah Bowditch 129 Articles
Hi, my name is Hannah. I hold a Masters degree in Translation from the University of Portsmouth and a BA in English Literature and Spanish. I love travel and languages and am very pleased to be a part of the Watching America team.

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