[Marxism] Trump: ‘I’m Using Mexico’

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Oct 8 14:49:43 MDT 2019

(AMLO is worthless.)

NY Times, Oct. 8, 2019
Trump: ‘I’m Using Mexico’
By Jorge Ramos

Mr. Ramos is an anchor for the Univision network and the author of 
“Stranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era.”

MIAMI — “I’m using Mexico to protect our border.” Millions of Americans 
didn’t even notice this recent remark made by President Trump. But 
Mexicans certainly did. They thought Mr. Trump’s words were a blatant 
attack on their nation’s sovereignty.

Still, while the president’s statement was arrogant and offensive, it’s 
actually true. Mr. Trump made his comment about the border on Sept. 26, 
just two days after Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, 
launched a formal impeachment inquiry that could lead to the president’s 
removal from office. Yet sandwiched between the constant “witch hunt” 
accusations, Mr. Trump managed to say something that hit a raw nerve.

“I want to thank Mexico,” Mr. Trump continued. “Twenty-seven thousand 
soldiers they have. But think of how bad that is — think of it — where 
we use Mexico because the Democrats won’t fix our broken immigration 

Almost 400,000 people have watched a video I posted on Twitter of Mr. 
Trump saying this. Some felt humiliated by the president’s statement. 
After all, a friend wouldn’t say to another friend that he’s using him, 
much less say it in public.

But President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico (or AMLO, as he’s 
known) didn’t see it that way. “There’s nothing we should be ashamed 
of,” he said at a news conference. “We protect Mexico’s sovereignty. At 
the same time, we try to avoid confrontation.”

A salient feature of Mexico’s current foreign policy is precisely AMLO’s 
reluctance to confront anyone outside of the country. In short, American 
officials say what they want, and Mexico — almost always — goes along 
with it. The relationship between the two nations is by no means an 
egalitarian one. In fact, it poses a threat to Mexico: Mr. Trump has 
previously warned that he would impose tariffs if Mexico didn’t back his 
immigration agenda.

Mexico may not have paid for the president’s wall, but the country has, 
in effect, become Mr. Trump’s immigration police force. Mexico itself 
has become the wall.

Recently the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico triumphantly 
announced a 56 percent decline in the number of Central American 
immigrants crossing Mexican territory between May and August. Why would 
Mexico force an entire family from Honduras or El Salvador to stay in 
Matamoros or Ciudad Juárez, if the United States is where they really 
want to go? The answer, sadly, is clear: Because that is exactly what 
the American government wants. Mexico is accepting tens of thousands of 
immigrants that Mr. Trump is refusing to take in. Mexico is now the 
United States’ safety valve.

Mexico’s president “basically, has accepted all terms and conditions” 
set by the United States, Armando Santacruz, president of Mexico United 
Against Crime, told me in an interview. “Yes, we are the wall. And 
[Mexico’s] National Guard is now spending a lot if its resources keeping 
immigrants away.”

I don’t know where Mr. Trump came up with the 27,000 soldiers figure. 
Perhaps he was referring to the number of National Guard (or Guardia 
Nacional) troops currently protecting the Mexican border with Guatemala 
as part of an effort to prevent Central Americans from entering the 
country en route to the United States. The National Guard was never 
meant to serve as an immigration agency for the United States. It was 
created to combat crime in Mexico — something it has failed to do thus far.

But Mexico is not only using the National Guard to turn away Central 
Americans. It has also agreed to accept immigrants who are seeking 
asylum in the United States while their applications are being 
processed. The country is basically America’s waiting room.

The Trump administration has placed great pressure on the Mexican 
economy to get what officials want, precisely at a time when financial 
indicators suggest a recession could be looming.

Even so, we are talking about sovereignty, about dignity and basic 
respect for human rights, under circumstances where the safety of people 
fleeing gangs, violence and extreme poverty is at stake. Mexico should 
never forget that for decades it was an “immigrant exporter.” Now it 
must treat Central Americans with the same care and respect it has 
always demanded for Mexicans living in the United States.

It’s true: President Trump is using Mexico. And, against all logic, 
Mexico is letting him get away with it. This has to change.

What can Mexico do? It must refuse to be Mr. Trump’s wall, to be the 
United States’ waiting room and safety valve. Mexico must re-embrace its 
honorable tradition of protecting the persecuted and most vulnerable, 
whether they’re fleeing civil war in Spain or crime and hunger in 
Central America.

To President López Obrador, I say this: It is a mistake to place bets on 
Mr. Trump. This is something all his former friends have learned the 
hard way. Do you really want to be associated with the policies of a 
president who, according to a recent report in The Times, suggested 
shooting migrants at the border in the legs? Why haven’t Mexicans taken 
to the streets in outraged protest?

Mr. Trump is on the wrong side of history. When he finally leaves 
office, his accomplices and partners, inside and outside the United 
States, will be judged harshly for their misdeeds.

There is still time to do the right thing.

Jorge Ramos is an anchor for the Univision network, a contributing 
opinion writer and the author of, most recently, “Stranger: The 
Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era.”

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