The Cable

Mexico Now Expected to Aid Migrants Abroad, Central America, and Border Control

Donald Trump is not even in office yet, but Mexico is already feeling the ramifications of his election.


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.

Photo credit: PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy covering ambassadorial and diplomatic affairs in Washington. @emilyctamkin

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