Monica Showalter, American Thinker, December 26, 2019
Migrants from Mexico are joining up behind the Central Americans to seek asylum in the U.S.
According to this report in the Los Angeles Times:
MATAMOROS, Mexico — Emma Sánchez waited patiently in line at the foot of a bridge leading across the Rio Grande and into Texas, one of tens of thousands of people stuck on Mexico’s northern border seeking political asylum in the United States.
“They cut my husband to pieces and dumped his body by the road,” Sánchez said matter-of-factly as she showed a visitor a link to a news article about the grisly demise of her spouse, a former taxi driver who, his widow said, refused to pay protection money to the local mob.
“Now I’m afraid they are coming after me and my kids,” she added, explaining why she had fled to Matamoros with her four daughters.
It is the kind of haunting account heard frequently in this Mexican border town, where hundreds of Central American asylum seekers who say they are fleeing gang violence await court dates in the United States.
The initial response from such a story is that Mexicans are seeing how good Central Americans have it, applying for asylum over issues of violent crime in their own countries. while being cared for by NGOs, all free of charge. Enough of them are getting in based on whatever it is that they are hearing from others to try their luck. Now Mexicans are joining the queue.
But I see a different story. Asylum laws were never made nor designed for people who are fleeing bad neighborhoods or violent crime. Mexico is actually big enough that for someone who wants to get away from that, they can move to another part of the same country. Persecution is something the governments do, and genuine asylum seekers are always fleeing the government for a specific action.
What we have here in Mexico, though, is a working democracy. And unfortunately, Mexicans have freely chosen a president whose policy toward drug dealers and gangs is “hug a cartel.” It’s not a secret, it’s not something he hid from voters in order to get elected, it was his policy platform, and Mexican voters, weighing their options said yes. What’s more, Mexico’s same elected president, Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador, has since turned down free military aid from the United States to get rid of that problem, as President Trump has offered. He seems to want the cartel situation as it is, or else is in the throes of a very bad and ignorant idea.
The case of the woman fleeing violent crime looks more like a national issue and an election issue than an asylum issue. Voters in Mexico are experiencing the consequences of their own electoral choices, harsh as that sounds. I don’t doubt that conditions are bad in Mexico. But they are not bad because someone is stopping something or someone is being denied the right to vote, everyone who’s a citizen can vote in Mexico — they are bad because Mexicans elected a president who promised them this.
The problem of course is bigger than any of this – and the implications of millions of Mexicans attempting to flee into the U.S. is a separate story, but one underdiscussed aspect of the whole issue is that voters ought to be held accountable for their own voting choices, too. AMLO is a disaster in the war on cartels, the situation is worsening, the living conditions are getting bad, and the results speak for themselves. But the country is still a democracy, and citizens there can still vote, protest, and force change. Mexicans still have the option of pressuring AMLO to do the right thing, and failing that can elect another kind of president. While the woman portrayed probably needs some kind of help, abuse of the asylum system in the U.S. only creates additional problems without forcing voters to take responsibility for what they wanted.