The Trump Wall is Meant for Central Americans
On January 25th, after signing two draconian executive orders on immigration, President Donald Trump gave a speech at the Department of Homeland Security where he announced that the planned U.S.-Mexico wall was intended to keep out Central Americans. The white supremacist American imaginary has shifted away from vilifying the Mexican and turned its eyes to the Central American migrants, mareros, and unaccompanied children. And yet, no Latinx media reported on it. But as Central Americans, we are used to that.
Back in June of 2015, Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign along with a racist tirade against Mexicans. We all remember this because there was not a single place on social media that didn’t cover it. There was no place on the planet that did not know that Trump had offended Mexicans. Trump was even turned into a piñata. The amount of righteous anger and resentment aimed at Trump kept this story burning throughout the remainder of 2015.
But in August of 2016, Trump traveled to Mexico and met up with Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN). The tone of Donald Trump’s discourse had changed considerably. As Virginia Lemus prophesied in her article, “For Central America, This Means War,” the meeting between Trump and EPN had one purpose: to change the narrative around migration and develop mutual policies of control over the Central American region.
In January 2017, multiple Mexican news agencies were reporting that the Mexican government was considering using Central American migration as a “bargaining chip” in order to protect Mexican trade and remittances from Mexican migrants in the U.S. Finally on January 24th, Luis Videgaray, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs admitted on Mexican television that Mexico was willing to continue blocking Central American as long as the U.S. respected Mexican remittances.
“We’re in the middle of a crisis in out Southern border. The unprecedented surge of illegal migrants from Central America is harming both Mexico and the United States. And I believe the steps we we will take, starting right now, will improve the safety in both of our countries. It’s going to be very, very good for Mexico…”