Things That Matter

Mexico Tells The US There Will Be No ‘Safe Third Country’ Agreement And Here’s What That Means For Migrants

Over the summer, Trump came down hard on Mexico and other Central American nations in an effort to make his base happy by reducing migration to the US. He threatened to slap tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Mexican goods bound for the US unless Mexico did more to stem the flow of migrants making their way to the US border.

Mexico agreed and implemented several of their own inhumane policies targeting migrants and deployed a new national guard force to its southern border with Guatemala. Now, as apprehensions at the US-Mexico border have dropped, the US is still pushing for a ‘safe third country’ agreement with Mexico. And Mexico is saying no thank you!

Mexico’s Foreign Minister rejected calls for a ‘safe third country’ deal because other policies are already working.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that Mexico doesn’t need to take any new measures to reduce the number of undocumented migrants bound for the U.S. because the current strategy is proving successful.

Ebrard said Mexico’s efforts have reduced undocumented migration from Central America by 70% and that he expects the trend to be irreversible. Ebrard said he also told Trump that a Safe Third Country agreement, which would make refugees apply for asylum in Mexico before the U.S. and has been sought by acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, doesn’t have support from Mexico’s Senate nor president.

The Foreign Minister led a Mexican delegation on Tuesday for meetings at the White House that included a brief conversation with President Donald Trump. Ebrard said that he explained the importance of the steps Mexico has taken since June, including the deployment of the National Guard, and also expressed concern about guns flowing south from the U.S.

Even Trump himself had praise for the ‘progress’ being made by Mexico.

Trump took to Twitter to tout the major decline in apprehensions at the Southern Border. Of course, in typical Trump fashion, he claimed credit for the decrease. Trump had threatened to slap tariffs on Mexican goods bound for the US back in June, unless Mexico played a more active role in preventing migrants from reaching the US border.

Since then, Mexico has bolstered its immigration enforcement, deploying newly formed National Guards units and other officials to its southern border with Guatemala. The government there has also worked with U.S. officials as the Trump administration expands the controversial “Remain in Mexico” program

A ‘safe third country’ agreement, like the ones agreed to by Guatemala and Honduras would put migrant’s lives at an even greater risk.

Although the two countries don’t have a safe third country agreement in place, Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy is effectively the same thing.

A statement from Pence’s office after Tuesday’s meeting said the nations agreed to implement “to the fullest extent possible” the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as “Remain in Mexico.” More than 42,000 non-Mexican migrants have been sent to Mexico to wait weeks or months for their U.S. legal processes since the program began in January, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Human rights advocates say this makes them vulnerable to the violence that plagues many of the cities on Mexico’s northern border.

And, meanwhile, the US court system has allowed the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy to resume for migrants who cross into New Mexico and Texas.

The Ninth Circuit court has temporarily lifted a nationwide injunction against President Donald Trump’s effort to deny asylum to immigrants who enter the U.S. after passing through another country.

The ruling basically lifted the injunction that was put in place blocking Trump’s expansion of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. Now, with this ruling, Trump can expand his policy to the border states outside the Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction – New Mexico and Texas.

One of the central arguments against safe third country agreements, is that it creates extra pressures on governments already struggling to help refugees.

Many experts say that Guatemala and Mexico lack the resources to handle so many asylum claims and point to State Department warnings that asylum seekers are at risk of violence in both countries. Many also say that such agreements don’t address the root causes that push people to flee and may just encourage them to find different routes to the United States.

Crimes against migrants largely go unsolved and unpunished.

The State Department’s own advisory for Tamaulipas (a state where migrants are returned to under the ‘Remain in Mexico policy) warns against all travel here. “Federal and state security forces have limited capability to respond to violence in many parts of the state,” it says.

“For us, for everyone, it’s very dangerous,” agreed Pastor Aarón Méndez Ruiz, who runs the Casa del Migrante Amar, a shelter in Nuevo Laredo.

Migrants have long been frequent targets of crime here. The risks are high enough that rather than let Mexican deportees walk from the border bridge to the state migrant reception center nearby, officials transport them in vans.

Criminals were making such easy prey of migrants coming and going from one migrant shelter that the federal police posted a permanent, round-the-clock sentry across the street.

This Kid Is Going Viral In Mexico For Using His $70 Peso Winning Lottery To Buy Tacos For A Man In Need

Things That Matter

This Kid Is Going Viral In Mexico For Using His $70 Peso Winning Lottery To Buy Tacos For A Man In Need

Mexico News Daily

As 2019 comes to a close there are few things to be optimistic about when it comes to the path that humanity as a whole has taken. It seems that all the wars and cruel processes of colonization and dispossession taught us very little about how awful we can be to each other. At the same time, we are damaging our planet at a fast pace and we are rendering it practically inhabitable for future generations. And no, we are not being dramatic, these are cold facts. 

Let’s be absolutely honest, shall we? The world is a pretty nasty place to live in right now.

Just look at this little blue planet, hard to imagine that so much goes on in it. And for all the good that many people in the world do on an everyday basis, as a species we seem to be in red numbers when it comes to basic human compassion. Just look at Mexico and the US there, sitting side by side, from space no one could imagine that so much suffering is happening at the border when the two countries meet. 

Extremism and discrimination is running rampant.

There is an ideological battle being held between those who believe that some humans deserve more than others based in the color of their skin, and those who advocate for inclusion. It is hard to believe that hate symbols such as the Nazi flag are making an appearance in Global North countries. 

Climate change is rendering even the nicest places in the world unbearable… and cheap labor is still a thing.

This is a picture of Sydney, allegedly one of the best cities in the world to live. But is is now being covered in smoke as a result of bushfires that are likely related to climate change, even if politicians and the coal lobby say the opposite. This year we saw other terrible fires ravage the Amazon while the Brazilian president blamed Leonardo Di Caprio of all people! 

Forced migration has left millions of people without a home.

So people from all sorts of places including war-torn Central America are being forced to flight or die as gangs and cartels take over their country. And they start a perilous trip through Mexico and then towards the United States. They are treated as third class citizens and as criminals, and have to face further suffering even if their journey is, in most cases, nothing short of heroic. So we would think that compassion and generosity is gone forever, right? Well, think again! 🙂 

But you won’t believe what this 8-year-old boy did even if the world kinda sucks at the moment: this is human nature at its best.

This scene might seem as something not totally out of the ordinary. But the story behind it melts our hearts: this Mexican little hero from Uruapan, Michoacán. His proud mom posted on Facebook that Adalid, this tiny champ, won $70 pesos at a lottery. Instead of spending it on candy and toys, he approached an old man who sells candy to survive. The old man looked tired, sad and hungry.

So what did Adalid do? He bought him a nice round of tacos! He told newspaper El Universal: “I saw the viejito arrive to sell [lollipops] but nobody bought from him. He looked very sad and hungry. When I gave him the money, I saw that he only bought one taco so I asked my mom if we could buy him more so that he could eat well”. Are you crying already? Mom couldn’t be prouder and she wrote on her Facebook post: “sometimes as a mom I ask myself if I’m doing my job well . . . but actions like this provide answers to all my doubts.”

This boy’s generosity warms our hearts.

And Adalid, overcome with emotion, started to cry. The chiquito hermoso told El Universal: “I cried because I saw him cry, I saw him wiping away his tears. When he finished [eating] he thanked me and gave me a hug”. Now imagine if we all acted with the same type of compassion towards each other, ourselves and our little blue dot in space. 

Stevey Harvey Made a Tacky Joke About Miss Colombia and the Internet Isn’t Having It

Fierce

Stevey Harvey Made a Tacky Joke About Miss Colombia and the Internet Isn’t Having It

Dailymail / Twitter

After the 2015 Miss Universe disaster where Steve Harvey erroneously crowned Miss Colombia? who? the winner of the pageant when Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach was actually the winner, we assumed that Harvey would try to be on his best behavior from now on. But of course, Steve Harvey being Steve Harvey, he couldn’t play it straight for too long. And, once again, he’s embroiled himself in another controversy–again, involving Miss Colombia.

From the get-go, Harvey started off his hosting gig awkwardly, immediately addressing his 2015 headline-making mix-up. He then proceeded to make an off-color joke about the fiasco. “Colombia’s gotten over that. They’ve forgiven me,” he quipped. “Well, not all of them. The cartel’s still tripping a little bit”. 

As if this opening joke weren’t offensive enough, Harvey continued to rag on Colombia when announcing that Miss Colombia Gabriela Tafur had qualified for the Top 20. 

After being announced, Tafur approached Steve Harvey, joking with him a little about his his famous absentmindedness. “Yes, I’m here,” she joked. “Are you sure you read correctly? Should I go back?”.

Harvey admitted to Tafur that he was “struggling” with his hosting duties, to which Tafur replied, “You’re forgiven”. Sensing an opportunity to shoe-horn in another narco joke, Harvey said: “You’ve forgiven me, not the cartel…They’re not handling it the same way.”

Tafur, although she looked as if she were trying to be a good sport and smile it off, appeared to become a bit more frozen after he cracked the joke. It also should be noted that the audience didn’t seem to respond well to the joke–there was little laughter to be heard coming from the crowd.

The backlash to Harvey’s joke was swift, with Colombians accusing the comedian of perpetuating negative stereotypes about  their beloved South American country.

The truth is, pageantry is an important aspect of many Latino cultures–especially ones in South America. Part of the reason that many of these women join pageants is to be a positive representation of their country for the rest of the world. 

There is even a “National Costume Show” portion of the competition where contestants dress up in outfits that illustrate an authentic aspect of the culture of their home country. No country is perfect and the pageant isn’t meant shouldn’t be turned into a platform to single out a country and bring attention to its flaws.

Miss Colombia, for her part, took to Twitter herself to drag Harvey for his offensive joke. 

Although many people still associate Colombia drugs, gangs, and violence, its murder rate has fallen to 25% in the last 25 years. In 2016, the Colombian government and the guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia signed a peace treaty with the goal of putting an end to a violent civil war that has last 52 years. The treaty included switch illegal crops like coca with alternatives, hopefully minimizing opportunity for drug traffickers. Since then, Colombia’s homicide rate has dropped to an all-time low

Not only was the audience unimpressed with Harvey’s inappropriate joke, but Twitter was too.

It’s one thing to slip up once, make an inappropriate joke, and then stop after you’ve learned the error of your ways. Harvey continued to make Colombia the butt of his jokes and he crossed the line. 

This person made a point to call out Steve Harvey for trying to embarrass Colombia on a worldwide stage. 

Miss Colombia is chosen to be a representative about the best parts of her country. Tafur has nothing to do with cartels. 

This person explained how Harvey’s “joke” was disrespectful to actual victims and survivors of cartel violence.

Believe it or not, cartel violence is an epidemic in Colombia. We guarantee that if Harvey experience the violence in person, he wouldn’t be making light of the situation on international TV.

In an event as globally inclusive as Miss Universe, it’s imperative to recognize that no country is perfect.

Colombians are tired of being thought of as narcos and drug addicts in the eyes of the world. 

This Twitter user was full of kind words for a woman who handled an uncomfortable situation with such grace

I like how @IAmSteveHarvey makes a joke about the cartel to #MissColombia and then cut to her package and she’s like “I’m a lawyer and have been fighting violence in my country.” Get it girl. And Steve, sit down man. #MissUniverse