17 | NOV | 2019
Is hoping for a better life a crime?
Thousands of migrants have fled poverty and violence in Central America - Photo: Moises Castillo/AP

Is hoping for a better life a crime?

17/07/2019
09:24
Mexico City
Editorial
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Children were promised education, a better life, and English classes but the reality is quite different

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The decisions made by the U.S in regards to migration are adopted without taking Mexico and Central American countries into account and without considering the consequences these decisions could have for the migrants: delaying their right to request asylum for years, confine them inside cages, and deport them without giving them a chance to contest the decision.

Furthermore, these decisions affect children and teenagers the most. For example, in Ciudad Juárez only, there are almost 3,000 minors who have been returned to Mexico from the U.S. And although they are accompanied by one of their parents, the other stayed behind in their hometowns weeks or months ago.

These children were promised education, a better life, toys, and English classes but the reality is quite different. They are living at shelters along with dozens of migrants who are going through a similar situation, while their future is uncertain.

Experts warn that the conditions faced by the migrants generate an identity trauma with symptomatological effects, including anguish, sadness, and insecurity; also, they lack habits or routines or place they identify with, moreover, their future is uncertain; all this will have a negative effect on their adult lives.

The U.S. is pressuring is Mexico to become a wall, in the face of a migration flux from Central America that has increased in recent years, moreover, the U.S. also wants Mexico to become a safe third country, a country where every migrant has to request asylum before requesting asylum in the U.S. These demands have increased since Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican imports if the country didn't stop the migrants from crossing into the U.S.

The public opinion is debating whether Mexico is becoming submissive or if it is simply cooperating with the U.S. In the lower chamber, lawmakers such as Porfirio Muñoz Ledo affirm that migration is a human right and that avoiding tariffs does not justify sacrificing migrants and their human rights. In contrast, the official discourse justifies the deployment of the National Guard to guarantee law enforcement; the Foreign Ministry has said that “migrating is not a crime but you have to register undocumented migrants to protect them.”

While there are differences in regards to how to handle the migration crisis, there are human beings, some as young as 4 months old, who are hoping for a better life, nevertheless, this opportunity might be annulled by some who makes decisions from a desk.
 

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