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Migration in Mexico: Survival strategy?

In a brief trailer of Netflix’s Planet Earth II, David Attenborough does an excellent job of describing animals’ massive migrations around the world. Every day, they do this, simultaneously, as “a survival strategy” that is undoubtedly “not without risk.” We thus started our conversation about human migration this week, focusing on the primary importance of “the freedom to move.”

Removing ourselves from the border wall between the United States and Mexico – which is now almost a cliché – we travelled to Canada to appreciate how Mexicans cross into Vermont illegally but also stay for agricultural jobs in Canadian provinces, legally. After examining joint press releases from the Mexican and Canadian Governments, we touched on the relevance of putting “labor mobility” at the top of the agenda and being very careful “to better align labor supply with existing demand.” Mexico and Canada have been quite successful in bringing Mexican workers to Canada, temporarily and legally, most often on a plane, while serving the mutual economic needs of both of their nations.

We then explored the migration policies of the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The president began his term promising “an open-door policy” that would “let everyone in” and fully respect human rights. That turned into a militarized approach – partly imposed on Mexico by the United States – that has focused on “containing migrants” at the southern border. It has also brought tragedy, as the recent fire in a migration station in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, proved. Forty Venezuelans died in that needless disaster.

The conversation took us to realize that many Mexicans are not as welcoming of immigrants as we might have thought. However, it also revealed amazing examples of immigrants – many from Haiti – who decide to stay in Mexico, work hard, and prove that they can indeed contribute to their new land.

Next week, we’ll discuss Mexican journalism and the media. Establishment in the country; including the social media craze. We’re bound to make some amazing discoveries and find out who controls the messages in the country and how. Come join us next 12 July!

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