POLL: Majority of Mexicans Supports Deportation of Central American Migrants

Central American migrants walk during their journey towards the United States in Villa Comaltitlan, Mexico, April 18, 2019. (Jose Cabezas/Reuters)

A slight majority of Mexican citizens supports the deportation of Central American migrants who travel through Mexico to reach the U.S. border, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The survey, which was conducted by the Mexican newspaper Reforma and the Washington Post, found that six in ten Mexicans believe the migrants have burdened the native population by claiming jobs and benefits that would otherwise accrue to Mexican citizens. A 55 percent majority supports deporting the migrants before they reach the U.S.

The 1,200 person survey was conducted July 9–14, roughly two weeks after Mexican officials agreed, in response to the Trump administration’s tariff threats, to step up enforcement efforts at their southern border in order to stem the flow of Central American migrants that has overwhelmed U.S. migrant-detention facilities in recent months.

A slight majority (51 percent) of respondents supports President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s decision to deploy the country’s National Guard to the southern border as part of that agreement with the Trump administration.

The survey also comes after the Trump administration implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols, which require certain asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their claims are being adjudicated. Only 7 percent of Mexicans believe the country should offer permanent residency to those migrants, while 33 percent support allowing them to stay in Mexico temporarily while their asylum claims are being adjudicated by the U.S.

The Trump administration announced Monday that it will immediately implement a “safe third country” policy to require that all asylum-seekers from non-contiguous countries first apply for refugee status in Mexico, or whatever other country they travel through, before seeking asylum in the U.S. Mexican officials have refused thus far to enter a safe-third-country agreement with the U.S. and it remains unclear whether the policy can be effectively implemented without Mexico’s consent.

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