Mexico Prepares For Wave Of Migrants Returning From US

By Rodrigo Cervantes
November 26, 2016
(Mónica Ortiz Uribe- KJZZ)
The border wall outside Peñitas, Texas is constructed of mostly steel.

Every year, the Mexican Government launches a special program to receive thousands of migrants that come back home for the holidays. But this year will be different.

The Mexican Government said it’s ready for the eventual return of thousands of Mexican nationals from the U.S. after President-elect Donald Trump's promise to deport undocumented immigrants.

Mexican authorities said they are preparing for those who plan to return from the U.S. as a result of their fear to Trump’s administration or to be deported.

Their strategy, they said, will be based on previous experiences.

The first one, when several Mexican workers came back to Mexico in 2008, as a result of the recession.

The second is the continuous flux of deported immigrants during the Obama administration.

And the third: the camps recently established for refugees from Haiti.

"The Haitian experience has been of great use: we have been able to build new shelters, and they have been working adequately, " said Humberto Roque, under secretary for migration, population and religious affairs of Mexico.

José Fernández Santillán is a professor of political science at Mexico City’s Tec de Monterrey University. He recently visited the refugee camps in Mexicali, and said that it is evident the lack of capacity to attend them. This would give the Mexican government less chances to respond to a flux of migrants adequately.

Fernández Santillán also thinks that the Government is not prepared for the problems that a massive return of migrants might bring, as the infrastructure is complicated, particularly in the northern states.

“The first problem is housing, the second one is food, and the third is what to do with these people: they need to have work,” Fernández Santillán said.

However, Fernández Santillán also believes that the situation might change and the number of Mexican migrants coming from the U.S. might be lower than expected. He believes that Trump might continue moderating his far-right policies and lean more towards a moderate center.

At the end, Fernández Santillán said, Mexico might not have the capacity to attend a situation like that, but neither does the United States.