- By Emily TamkinEmily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. She writes for FP’s The Cable, a real-time take on the news in Washington and the wider world. She has been at FP since the fall of 2016, before which she was an associate editor at New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. She has a B.A. in Russian literature from Columbia University, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European studies from the University of Oxford, and studied Soviet dissidence in archival centers in Moscow, Tbilisi, and, on a Fulbright, in Bremen — all of which means that at FP, she writes when she can on Russia and Central and Eastern Europe.
It is, to put it very mildly, a difficult time for Mexico.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has said that he is going to renegotiate NAFTA so as to make it more advantageous to the United States and less so to Mexico. He has pledged to put a 35 percent tax on Mexican imports. He famously announced plans to build a border wall to keep out Mexican immigrants, whom he identified as rapists and criminals (although, since being elected, he’s clarified that it will actually be a wall-fence mélange). And he says he will deport 3 million undocumented immigrants, though he did not specify whether they would be from Mexico.
Also, after the American election, the Mexican peso fell — and became the emerging markets’ 2016 worst performer.
Now, the Mexican government, in order to support its citizens abroad, has instructed its embassies and consulates to step up. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The measures include a 24-hour hotline that will allow people to report harassment and immigration raids, as well as the expansion of deportation-defense work at 50 consulates.” The Mexican government stressed in a statement, “We are with you.”
But how the Mexican government will provide more support for migrants when it’s under more economic and political duress is vastly unclear. So, too, is it uncertain how Mexico will respond to the Trump administration. And yet, on Wednesday, Reuters reported that the three countries — from which many of the most at risk migrants hail — intend to together seek support from Mexico in responding to Donald Trump.
So the Mexican government, with its weakened peso and all, is expected to support its citizens abroad; citizens from Central America; and, at least according to Trump’s campaign rhetoric, dazzlingly expensive border security.
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