Quite a few heads were turned in Washington, DC when the Mexican government made some significant new immigration enforcement concessions in the face of tariff threats from President Trump. Why would they cave to demands that weren’t playing terribly well politically north of the border — especially if those demands put them on the hook for more concrete action? As we shared yesterday, Mexico City has gone even farther in recent days, to the point of surprising a CNN correspondent who called the cooperation unprecedented in his experience:
BREAKING- Mexico has deployed almost 15,000 troops to the US-Mexico border to curve migration flow. An additional ~2,000 National Guard elements have also been deployed across the country’s southern border with Guatemala & Belize.: MX Secretary of Defense Luis Sandoval #CNN
— Nick Valencia (@CNNValencia) June 24, 2019
One piece of the puzzle that has been largely absent in media analyses of this broader issue is Mexican public opinion. One of my fellow panelists on Fox’s Special Report program last night directed me to recent polling by a major Mexican newspaper showing significant public opposition to the migrants passing through Mexico in an effort to enter the United States:
a plurality 44.4 % of Mexicans say government’s response to undocumented migrants should be «expel them immediately.» Only 9% say grant unconditional passage to the US
— Charles Lane (@ChuckLane1) June 19, 2019
By nearly a two-to-one margin, Mexican voters favor the government preventing the passage of migrants who enter the country without documents, i.e. illegally. As Lane notes, close to half support immediate expulsion, with another slice of the electorate supporting jailing the migrants for breaking Mexican law. Very few support allowing the migrants to head north freely. A majority also opposes a plan to grant this population work visas. This outcome is also quite interesting:
A recent poll conducted by a major Mexican newspaper asked Mexican voters whether they’d prefer:
(a) Prohibiting migrants’ entry into the country/expelling them from Mexico
(b) Initiating a trade war with the US
The result wasn’t close… pic.twitter.com/9aUO56TnSG
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) June 26, 2019
An additional data points shows a solid majority (57 percent) opposing the Mexican government allowing illegal immigrants into the country and sheltering them. Here’s the Financial Times on the survey’s findings:
Some analysts blame Mexico’s own policies for the rise in migration. After taking office in December, Mr López Obrador offered migrants humanitarian visas. Many used them to travel unimpeded towards the US border. “They generated this problem with humanitarian visas — the figures tell you that this is a problem created by this administration,” said Jorge Buendía of polling group Laredo & Buendía. Even amid criticism that Mexico has conceded too much to the US, public opinion in Mexico is hardening against the migrants, A poll this month by El Universal newspaper found nearly two-thirds in favour of refusing entry to undocumented migrants, a nearly 13 point rise since October when the first wave of migrants arrived in Mexico from Central America.
Mexican politicians can read polls, too, it seems. And now, seemingly suddenly, help is in the offing. I’ll leave you with, er, this:
1. We broke news that US identified ISIS suspects heading to border and warned Mexico.
2. Mexico’s President and other high ranking officials are now on record saying it’s true.
3. US media outlets still aren’t reporting on it, but Mexico’s media outlets are reporting on it.
— Brandon Darby (@brandondarby) June 25, 2019
The Mexican president says his administration is «responding to» this «information.» I’m not quite sure what that means, but it doesn’t sound like a denial. I’d like to hear a lot more about this potential development. Will the mainstream US media deign to ask any questions, or would that be too endangering to the narrative?