As Title 42 ends, US troops to Mexican border
President Joe Biden is temporarily deploying 1,500 soldiers to the US-Mexico border ahead of the end of a pandemic-era entry restriction known as Title 42 on May 11. The soldiers are to perform administrative tasks, but critics say the move sends the message that migration is a threat. Tens of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants currently stranded in dire conditions in northern Mexican border cities by US policies are growing increasingly desperate and frustrated. More than 15,000 people—mostly from Venezuela—crossed the border in the vicinity of Brownsville late last month, overwhelming shelter capacity. And in El Paso, nearly 2,000 people who recently crossed the border are sleeping on sidewalks in the city center. The Biden administration has introduced a number of policies aimed at extending asylum restrictions at the border and curbing migration. The administration reached a deal with Mexico on May 2 that for the first time allows the US to deport non-Mexicans who enter the country irregularly back across the border.
Podcast: Magonismo hits the mainstream
In Episode 162 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg reviews Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands by Kelly Lytle Hernández. It is definitely a very hopeful sign that a briskly selling book from a mainstream publisher not only concerns anarchists, but actually treats them with seriousness and presents them as the good guys—even heroes. The eponymous "bad Mexicans" of the sarcastic title are the Magonistas—followers of the notorious Magón brothers, early progenitors of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920, who first raised a cry for the overthrow of the decades-long, ultra-oppressive dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. "Bad Mexicans" was the epithet used by both Mexican and US authorities for this network of subversives who organized on both sides of the border. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
Mexico: 140 missing in wake of Sinaloa violence
Residents of Jesús María barrio in Culiacán, capital of Mexico's Sinaloa state, marched on the governor's palace Jan. 9 demanding action on the whereabouts of 140 community members they say have been missing since violence engulfed the city after the arrest of a top cartel kingpin four days earlier. The youngest of the missing residents is said to be 12 years old. Protesters also denounced abuses by the military troops that have been patrolling Culiacán since the outburst, including illegal detentions and home searches. (Aztec Reports, La Verdad, Juárez)
Biden admin to expand Title 42 expulsions
President Joe Biden on Jan. 5 announced that the US is to extend a parole program previously offered only to migrants from Venezuela to those from Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti, allowing them to apply for residency—but reiterated that his administration will continue to enforce Title 42, in compliance with a recent order from the Supreme Court. In fact, under his new policy, Title 42 expulsions are to increase, with Mexico agreeing to accept expelled Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians. A provision of the Public Health Service Act allowing for summary expulsion of migrants at the southern border, Title 42 has been in effect pursuant to a Centers for Disease Control order of March 2020 as a COVID-19 emergency measure.
Mothers of the disappeared march in Mexico
On May 10, Mexico's Day of the Mother, thousands of mothers and other family members of the disappeared held a March for National Dignity in the capital, calling for action on their missing loved ones. The march, which filled the main avenues of Mexico City, was organized by a coalition made up of 60 regional collectives of survivors of the disappeared from around the country. In the days before the march, a group camped out outside the National Palace, demanding a dialogue on the matter with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Northern Mexico: aid efforts struggle to keep pace
Humanitarian response networks in northern Mexico are stretched thin between the growing number of people fleeing violence, poverty, and climate disasters in Central America, the continued expulsion of asylum seekers and migrants who enter the United States irregularly, and the lingering effects of Trump-era migration policies.
Mexico: crisis, militarization on both borders
There were scenes of chaos in Mexico's northern border towns Feb. 29 in response to rulings in rapid succession by a US federal appeals court on the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy. First, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled against the administration's policy, (euphemistically dubbed the Migrant Protection Protocols) that forces migrants and refugees seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their claims are reviewed, and severely limits the number of migrants eligible for asylum. Thousands of asylum-seekers who had been camped out for weeks in Matamoros, Ciudad Juárez, Nogales and Tijuana immediately amassed at the border crossings, hoping to gain entry to the US. But the crossings were closed, and hours later, the Ninth Circuit granted an emergency stay on the injunction, as requested by the administration, effectively reinstating the MPP while further arguments are heard. The gathered migrants were dispersed by Mexican security forces.
Mexican farmers protest water diversion to US
More than 3,000 farmers and residents of four rural municipalities in Mexico's northern state of Chihuahua clashed with Mexican National Guard troops on Feb. 4 in a protest over the federal government's plan to divert water from a dam into the Rio Grande for the use in the United States. Protesters from the municipalities of Camargo, La Cruz, Delicias and San Francisco de Conchos confronted troops guarding La Boquilla Dam on the Rio Conchos with the aim of occupying the facility and preventing the water diversion. The National Water Commission (Conagua) intends to open the sluices of the dam to divert hundreds of millions of cubic meters of water to the Rio Grande, in order to comply with a 1944 Water Treaty between Mexico and the US. Mexico has a 220-million-cubic-meter "water debt" to the US, but farmers say that the massive diversion will leave them with insufficient water.
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