Thursday, December 7, 2023

AMLO’s new immigration chief vows kinder attitude toward migrants

North of the border the United States government is warning that its armed forces will fire on migrants who throw rocks at them, but in Mexico a kinder and gentler approach is coming.

The future chief of the National Immigration Institute (INM) has vowed that Central American migrants will receive kinder attention during the administration of the incoming federal government.

Tonatiuh Guillén told the newspaper Reforma that he would reform the INM so that it is fully respectful of migrants’ human rights.

The current government’s decision to send the Federal Police to Mexico’s southern border to try to contain the migrant caravans was a “serious mistake,” he said, citing their clash with the second migrant caravan, in which a Honduran man was killed as evidence of his claim.

“. . . [The presence of police] put girls, boys, women and all the people who were on the border bridge at risk, making the situation tenser and more difficult . . .” Guillén said.

“. . . Another strategy should have been used, a much kinder and more receptive one . . . [the situation] would have ended in a better, more humane and more civilized way . . .”

The social sciences academic and former head of the College of the Northern Border, who was announced this week as the new INM chief, said that under a Andrés Manuel López Obrador presidency migrants won’t be stigmatized nor will their personal situations be ignored.

“We have to assume that the flow [of migrants] coming from Central America, and especially Honduras, are people who have been forced to leave their country for reasons such as violence, poverty and exclusion and that this situation is going to continue at least in the medium and short term,” Guillén said.

He added that INM detention centers will be converted into spaces that attend to the needs of migrants as part of a reform intended to address frequent complaints filed with the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) against the immigration institute.

“There must be a complete reconceptualization of the centers, we need to carry out a very thorough review of what they are [and] what their purpose is . . .” Guillén said.

“We have to make the [immigration] institute much more protective, caring and humane.”

U.S. President Trump said in a speech this week that migrants throwing rocks will be treated as armed.

“They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. We’ll consider — and I told them — consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle.”

Trump has ordered 5,200 troops to the border to stop the caravans of migrants heading that way, and has suggested he might increase the number to 15,000. He said all migrants arrested at the border will be detained and held in “massive cities of tents.”

Source: Reforma (sp)

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