Things That Matter

Mexico Isn’t Paying For A Wall But The Trump Administration Is Paying Mexico To Stop Central American Migrants

Since President Trump took office he’s promised that Mexico would pay for a border wall, a demand the country has refused. For now, in the Trump administration’s strategy to stop illegal immigration, the United States instead plans to pay Mexico. The administration is moving through with plans to pay $20 million to Mexico to deport migrants and stop them from reaching the U.S. This comes after Democrats blocked the measure in Congress and the Mexican government dismissed the proposal.

Congress was told late on Oct. 1 that the funds had already been transferred over the weekend.

The administration intends to take $20 million in foreign assistance funds and use it to help Mexico pay plane and bus fares to deport as many as 17,000 people who are in that country illegally. The administration hopes the money will help increase deportations of Central Americans, many of whom go through Mexico to get to the U.S. Any unauthorized immigrant in Mexico who is a known or suspected terrorist will also be deported under the program.

Thousands of Central Americans travel through Mexico to come to the U.S. and either cross the border illegally or apply for asylum from their home countries. Fifty-seven thousand Central Americans were deported from Mexico in the first half of 2018, according to the Associated Press.

The Mexican government has yet to agree to terms with the U.S. on the measure.

Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto rejected the proposal in September. His successor Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a populist, hasn’t made a formal announcement about his position on the program. Many believe that López Obrador is not likely to accept the proposal, despite having a friendly relationship with Trump.

The State Department notified Congress first in September that the funds were going to be transferred to the Department of Homeland Security.

President Trump and Lopez Obrador spoke over the phone recently about the development in Central America.

The three North American countries are meeting in Washington with delegations from Central American countries about recent developments, according to ABC News.

The program aims to help relieve immigration flows through Mexico to the U.S.

The Trump administration has worked tirelessly to curb immigration, legal and illegal. They have changed rules as to who qualifies for asylum and implemented a “zero tolerance” policy designed to separate families as a deterrent.

Immigrant advocacy groups have called the deportation aid for Mexico a misguided use of money. Instead, advocates are calling on officials to handle the issues that are forcing people to flee their homes and countries for a better, safer life.

“We shouldn’t be paying another country to do our dirty work; we should actually be fixing our immigration system and helping these countries get back on solid footing,” said Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum told the NY Times. “It smacks of desperation.


READ: Trump Administration Transferred Nearly $10 Million From FEMA To ICE For Detention Programs

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This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

Things That Matter

This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

via Getty Images

In the town of Ayahualtempa, Mexico, in the state of Guerrero, reporters see a shocking image whenever they visit. Children armed with guns, trained to defend themselves. The disturbing scene is meant to be shocking. The village of Ayahualtempa is under constant attack. A prominent heroin “corridor”, they are the victims of violence and carnage at the hands of gangsters and the cartel.

In order to gain the Mexican government’s attention, the Ayahualtempa villagers dress their children up as soldiers. Then, they invite the media in.

Ayahualtempa
via Getty Images

When reporters arrive, the children of Ayahualtempa dutifully line up and put on a performance. They march, they show how they would shoot a gun from one knee, or from flat on their bellies. They tell reporters that their mock-violent performance is “so the president sees us and helps us,” as a 12-year-old child named Valentín told the Associated Press.

Because the Mexican government doesn’t protect Ayahualtempa, the display of child soldiers is a form of protest for the small indigenous village. The people of this remote region of Guerrero want protection from the National Guard, and financial help for widows and orphans who have been made so from organized crime.

The villagers don’t trust local authorities, and for good reason. Guerrera is the Mexican state in which 43 teaching students were abducted and killed in an event that is known as the “Iguala mass kidnapping”. Authorities arrested 80 suspects in connection to the event. 44 of them were police officers, working in conjunction with a network of cartels.

Although the demonstrations function largely as a publicity stunt, violence is very much a part of these children’s lives.

via Getty Images

Parents train their children to walk to school with loaded guns, ready to defend themselves against violent gangsters.

The attention-grabbing antics have, to some extent, worked. On one occasion, the government donated some housing material. On another, benefactors gave the community’s orphans and widows scholarships and houses. But as soon as the periodic media storms die down, the federal government continues pretending Ayahualtempa doesn’t exist.

The hypocrisy of the government’s response is frustrating to many. “We’ve normalized that these children don’t eat, are illiterate, are farm workers. We’re used to the Indians dying young, but, ‘How dare they arm them!’” said local human rights activist Abel Barrera to the AP, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

As for now, until the government moves to protect the community, they say they will continue their demonstrations. “They see that the issue of the children is effective for making people take notice and they think: If that’s what works, we’ll have to keep doing it,” said Barrera.

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

Things That Matter

Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

This past March, according to El Pais, migrants crossed the Rio Grande at an all-time high not seen in the past 15 years. US government reports underlined that a total of 171,000 people arrived at the southern border of the United States in March. Eleven percent were minors who made the journey by themselves.

Reports say that this vulnerable group will continue to grow in size with recent shifts in the Biden administration child immigration policies. Five migrants girls recently found by the river recently became part of this group.

An onion farmer in Quemado recently reported that he found five migrant girls on his land.

The girls were each under the age of seven, the youngest was too small to even walk. Three of the girls are thought to be from Honduras, the other two are believed to have come from Guatemala.​ Jimmy Hobbs, the farmer who found the girls, said that he called the Border Patrol gave the children aid by giving them water and food and putting them in the shade.

“I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” Hobbs told US Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) in a New York Post. “Because it got up to 103 yesterday.”

“My thoughts are that it needs to stop right now. There are going to be thousands. This is just five miles of the Rio Grande,” Hobbs’ wife added in their conversation with Gonzalez. “That’s a huge border. This is happening all up and down it. It can’t go on. It’s gonna be too hot. There’ll be a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering.” 

“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Austin Skero II explained of the situation in an interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”

According to reports, the Customs and Border Protection stated that the five girls​ ​will be processed and placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.​

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