Mexican president talks tall on migrant issues, but reality is another story

Mexican president talks tall on migrant issues, but reality is another story

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto this week delivered a vigorous case for respecting migrants, but immigration experts say his words are at odds with the reality of how Mexico treats migrants fleeing violence in Central America.

Addressing the U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants on Monday, Peña Nieto said “Mexicans believe that the mixing of cultures and races is the future and destiny of humanity.”

“Cultures are revitalized and enriched when they live together and talk to each other. Migrants have been the principal partners in this,” he said. “We must put migrants, along with their rights, dignity and well-being in the center of the global dialogue.” …

Mexico’s actual treatment of migrants, however, is “absolutely dysfunctional,” according to Javier Reyes, an expert on migrants at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City.

Reyes said in an email the president’s words were “narrative without content,” and that migrants entering Mexico “continue to face severe problems,” including extortion, theft, fraud and human trafficking by organized crime.

They are not welcomed by Mexico “under any circumstances.”

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