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News Analysis: "Our Migrants"

MEXICO


No one spoke in defense of these migrants. They were ignored completely, but now today, national media is "rending its garments" daily over migration issues.

Why are we concerned when an Anglo Saxon is U.S. president, but not when Obama was in office? Is it because Trump does not use the polite rhetoric of Obama and because Trump is politically incorrect? Is it because the critics were blind all those years and have suddenly seen the light? Of course not.

I argue that these suddenly enlightened critics were simply quite taken with Barak and Michelle's charisma and charm, and they were likewise content with the status quo.

What of the leaders of the Mexican political parties, such as Ricardo Anaya of the PAN, and Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his like in the PRI? What about the provincial governors of Morelos state and Mexico City? They visit migrants in Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, and L.A. in order to interview them. Why?

Could it be that these politicians are now on the campaign trail to be president of Mexico in 2018? How is it justifiable that the mayor of Juarez, Armando Cabada, travels with the Mexican delegation to Chicago, when millions of migrants pass through his city every year? By looking toward the 2018 elections, of course.

The truth is that migrants from Central and South America have always been interesting within Mexico, but not to our politicians and social workers. Rather, it has been evangelical pastors and Catholic priests who for decades now have created shelters for migrants along the border that run year-round. These small projects have always lacked the support and official encouragement of the men and women of politics who now pompously chastise Trump's administration and speak of the migrants as "theirs."

Our migrants have had to abandon their homeland because it has not offered them the most minimally acceptable standard of living. They have chosen to flee to a country that discriminates against them, but where they also meet good people. A place where a decent job can be found.

In truth, the homeland of "our migrants" has failed them and discriminated against them also, which caused the migrant crisis in the first place.

But despite all this, suddenly it is trendy to speak of these people as "our migrants," as if they were merely objects.

That is the heart of the matter.

Daniel Valles is TMP's Mexico contributor and commentator. He can be found on Twitter at @elmeoyodlasunto and reached by email at elmeollodelasunto@gmail.com.

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