Special: Has Mexico's President Turned His Back on His Own People?
Hey, Trumka's listeners this week. I joined what next to the new daily new spot cast from sleigh to talk about something that continues to dominate American politics and unfortunately, President Trump's Twitter feed the crisis at the border and Mexico to understand what's happening in Mexico. You have to look at the policies and leaders on both sides of the border. I joined what next to explain how Mexico's new president on his lupus overload of Kaz changed his approach to refugees and migrants fleeing north and how he has changed himself. I hope you enjoy these episode of what next I love the show each week. They go deep on one story. They give context to the news. And when I listen, I feel like I've learned something valuable to get what next in your podcast feed every morning. Subscribe to the show in apple podcasts or wherever you're listening right now. Okay. Now onto the episode. I hope you enjoy. Whenever I see a report about immigration these days. I keep hearing this phrase breaking point. Meanwhile, the southern border is already at a breaking point you have heard and they said the agency has quote arrived at the breaking we have a port that is stretched to breaking point. We are added. Sometimes this idea of the breaking point it's illustrated by these terrible images pictures of detained families kept behind some fencing under a bridge in all Paso, Texas. But it turns out this breaking point it looks remarkably similar on both sides of the border. Well, I visited one when the caravan crises exploded, and what I found was was tragic. Writes for slate hosts Trump cast, and he grew up in Mexico. People were gathered these sports complex just a few feet from from the border within a small baseball field that just a couple of weeks before was was being used for little league baseball land chats and video on his cell phone while he was in Tijuana tent after tent some of them plopped down in the middle of a playground. Migo say story in the city Alabama guarantee in Doina in there were five thousand people gathered they were using portable toilets lining the outfield fence with makeshift showers. The stench was on bearable people were sleeping on the makes you tense. They people have moved to a larger place indoors. But they still are living in very difficult conditions. That's that's the reality of it. Immigration debate from very specific perspective, a Mexican perspective. He says the US in Mexico or just too intertwined not to tackle this breaking point together. But the way Trump talks about Mexico isn't making that job easy. It took him a hundred seconds. And I counted them to begin bashing Mexico when he first launched his presidential campaign. So it's no surprise that. He's still doing it recently. The president use Twitter to provoke the Mexican government. He proposed shutting down the border completely. Then he proposed putting tariffs on Mexican cars. A kind of punishment. He said the Mexican government is doing nothing to prevent illegal immigration. Has there been any response from the Mexican government to none? No. It prizes me that the current Mexican government hasn't responded because the new Mexican president. It's my Lopez or prompts he would during the campaign he promised he would personally respond to Trump's tweets. And but once empowered Lopez soda that completely different approach just recently declared from vision and immigration legitimate. He used the word legitimate. He'll he'll legitimize the Trump's nativist vision on immigration, and it's remarkable reversal. Leeann says to understand what's happening on our border. You have to look at both sides of it. So today, we're getting examined why Mexico's government can't make up its mind about President Trump, and what that means for the humanitarian crisis on the border. I'm Mary Harris. You're listening to what next stay with us. I'm David plots one of the hosts of the political gabfest, and I'm in your ears right now to encourage you to sign up for slate. Plus, I know I know you've gotten this message before but hear me out for a second. You see slate? Plus is probably the best thirty five dollars. You'll spend this year. Not only will you get more than thirty. That's right. I said thirty podcasts at free for just thirty five dollars. But as a slate plus member, you'll also get exclusive access to private cocktail hours with your favorite podcast hosts discounts on tickets to live events around the country, less advertising dot com and direct access to slate. Writers editors podcasters to a private Facebook group. Plus, tons of extra podcast episodes and segments support slates journalism and give yourself a service you'll actually use by signing up for slate. Plus today, just visit slate dot com slash podcasts. Plus to sign up today. Again, that's slate dot com slash podcast. Plus, thanks. So we've had Donald Trump for the last couple of years. Mexico. Just got a new president in December. Right. Tell me a little bit about who. Under as Manuel. Lopez over door is. This whole Lord. Mexico's new press has been the country's main political you're over the last twenty years and ever Anglo, right. Yes. Andres Manuel Lopez over peace initials, he has focused obsessively on corruption he has gone back to the idea of fighting corruption time and time again over the last twenty years and finally after the very corrupt government of keeping any on his third try he won the Mexican piston see on a landslide and has the president of Mexico for the last four months on on a and gender that begun progressive agenda, but now has morphed into something much more complex and sometimes contradictory on a on a bunch of issues, including immigration. Could we go back and explain like one of the first things that Lopez it or did when he took office was to liberalise immigration policies. Right. Yes. Of course promised he would do a better job protecting potential refugees from Mexico's previews government. What happened before was was was brutal with with opinion? Attrition that severely mistreated sensitive American immigrants. I mean since twenty fourteen Mexico had deported more central Americans in the United States. I'm not international found that sixty nine percent of Silom seekers from Central America were never even asked. The reason why they had left the country of origin in in the previous administration. So so no persona. Those said, listen, I'm gonna make these better. And in the beginning he did start offering humanitarian visas and promised jobs in Mexico for Central American immigrants. How did this policies end up impacting the flow of my? North. Well, these these Bhagat in very recently Lopez has been in power for just over four months now. So in the beginning, the number of central Americans that were deported fail in Mexico, but things are moving in the other direction. Now after the Trump administration urged the Mexican government to adopt rather punitive approach. It sounds like he had to shut down this new program pretty fast because they weren't prepared for how many people would take advantage of it. I think that's true. I think that the the Mexican government has never been prepared for for these crisis the resources needed for dealing with such a with such a humanitarian crisis have never been put in place in Mexico. They weren't in place in the previous administration and even less so in the curve. Administration has cut the budget in for the agencies that handle refugees and migration. I'm sure it doesn't come from the same horrible nativist racist prejudice. We've seen Washington for for a while now in in the White House, but innocence, the new of the new Mexican government is approaching that sort of again punitive approach, but has offered absolutely no results. So the Mexican government walked back this policy they had to let more folks in. I think partially because of the fear that the surge of people being seen at the border with the US was intertwined with their decision to be more liberal in terms of who they let stay in the country, and then that sort of started to characterize their whole relationship with the US where even though the president had come in talking really tough about Donald Trump that seemed to change in terms of especially immigration policy. Certainly Lopez over or decided that he could maybe a piece Trump why I again that that for me sufficing eighteen question, maybe the new Mexican person he's just not interested in foreign policy, or maybe he has fallen into this sort of Nick Sonian, Trump has madman trap. And now believes there antagonizing Trump could endanger the bilateral agenda, which incomes, of course. US MCA the new trade agreement that he's supposed to replace NAFTA. Or maybe. Nope. There's another believes he actually can outmaneuvered from through a piece meant, I believe every single one of these approaches, he's guided. In any case. And these for me is is dramatic the new Mexican prison has I think indeed betrayed what he wants promised. He has betrayed. He's on principles on the matter at namely that he would protect immigrant Mexican community. And and the immigrant community in general he said as much when he campaigned in the United States in two thousand seventeen and we are talking of thirty billion people of Mexican origin in the United States. So that's quite the betrayal. Can you take off some of the things that the Mexican government did to sort of rain in immigration in the last few months, like what what else are you sort of seeing that's alarming tear, well, recently, I would mention the fact that they agreed to these remaining Mexico policy. The Mexican Gordon said it was doing it out of humanitarian reasons, but that's disingenuous because if you really trying to protect potential refuge. Jeez. Central American refugees, then you should allow them to stay in the United States because the place where they're seeking safety where they're seeking a new life away from gang violence that places the United States Mexico can't offer that to pretend otherwise again is false. I mean, there's some pride in that. There's some the, you know, I imagine that it's hard to admit. Yes. But since I don't believe in magic, and the facts are the facts Mexico east dangerous country for immigrants and had a dangerous country for immigrants Central American immigrants for a long time. And they go sometimes to absolute hell when they when they traveled through the country to what the United States and border more the city's like the one. She's got quite a send others along the border have have proven to be very dangerous for for Central American immigrants. I think that just that fact should be should be more important than than than any matter of pride. Just a few weeks ago. Lopez Oberdorf gave a speech that made it clear he done a complete one eighty when it came to President Trump hit promised to battle him tweet for tweet. But now getting no. Almost almost we're not gonna fight amyloid says, so he he had Healy's rally, and he asked the crowd whether or not he should respond to Trump. And of course, most people in the crowd said, no. Let them stay. And he and the press into Mexico said there, you go the this is this is this is the answer. I wanted this is this is my actual think tank. And so he went back to his vowel of silence. When it comes to to Trump, and that's really really unfortunate. Because I would argue that this is not about Trump or not only about from. It's about the very real Andhra. Mattie consequences of of these natives rhetoric on the lives of millions of immigrants in the United States. As you know, hate crimes are on the rise. Immigrants are retreating from the normal daily lies, this traumatic times demand. A counter narrative. The the modern immigrant story has not been told enough or well enough in the United States, much less. Very concrete story of the role that Hispanic immigrants play in the daily construction of this country. There is great prejudice. Because there is ignorance and by leaving Trump's native is Iman challenged the government of Mexico, effectively renounced its operation to protect Mexicans or people of Mexican origin. I would I would argue that silence is never an answer to prejudice. Silence towards Donald Trump doesn't mean that Mexico doesn't have a plan since he took office amyloid has been pushing the idea of what he calls the Marshall plan for Central America. This time around instead of helping war-torn countries in Europe after World War Two the US and Mexico at work together to rebuild Central America's northern triangle. I'll Salvador Honduras and Guatemala, all of that in the hope of stemming the tide of immigration. The United States has not only resisted joining these idea, which I which I find urgent, but actually gone the other way the Trump administration. He's now punishing and the the northern triangle countries by threatening to throw the mother first aid does the United States provides the region, and that's that's simply wrong. I I would even choose a different word. But I'd rather not. But it's what word would make some. Well, it's stupid. It's stupid because needs to happen is the exact opposite. You need to help those countries develop people don't emigrate because they want they wake call up and say, hey, let's pack our bags and grab our kids. And and just leave that's gonna be fun people flee because they are afraid for their lives because they have been subjected to threats because they are persecuted because their relatives have been killed or kidnapped and these this is the reality situation in Central America. How do you fix that you fix that? By investing in those countries by offering Oprah -tunities to people by opening different doors than what the gangs offer what drug dealers offer by helping the the agricultural industry in. In those countries that has been ravaged by climate change recover, you do that by using your vast resources, enact, creative, humane fashion. That's what the United States should be doing not threatening a punitive approach and punishing those countries and withdrawing aid because this humanitarian crises will not end by decree. It just doesn't happen that way. Radical reengagement is what you're exactly deep engagement. All right Leone. Thank you so much. I always feel like I understand things a thousand percent better after we talk. It's always a pleasure to be with you. Thank you. Lancaster rights for slate. Hosts Trump cast and he's an anchor at university on. All right. That's the show. I'm Mary Harris. 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