By SILVIO CANTO, JR.
Over the course of the last six months, I’ve reported that many of my friends in Mexico have been shocked by their country’s newly founded tolerance of illegal immigration.
This goes against the very grain of what I knew of Mexico to be years ago.
The Mexico that I remember was brutal — and I mean brutal — with anyone crossing its southern border.
Often, Central Americans have pointed out that, back then, they were scared to death of crossing into Mexico.
I recall a young woman who said that she and her friends were sure that they’d be raped is they entered into Mexico. Thankfully, the group of young women with whom she entered the country were not harmed, but their fears were legitimate.
So here is the results of a recent poll conducted in Mexico as part of a joint venture between the Washington Post and Reforma from Mexico City:
More than six in 10 Mexicans say migrants are a burden on their country because they take jobs and benefits that should belong to Mexicans.
A 55 percent majority support deporting undocumented migrants who travel through Mexico to reach the United States.
Those findings defy the perception that Mexico — a country that has sent millions of its own migrants to the United States, who in turn have sent billions of dollars in remittances back home — is sympathetic to the surge of Central Americans.
Instead, the data suggests Mexicans have turned against the migrants transiting through their country, expressing an antipathy that would be familiar to many supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump north of the border.
Who knew that MAGA is now MMGA, or Make Mexico great again?
The results of this poll are not surprising to any of us who know Mexico well.
In my case, I worked with a U.S. company in Mexico City years ago.
Mexicans have often told me that they need to send their people north in order for them to have good jobs, and Central Americans migrants only compete with them up there.
It’s sort of like “it’s okay for us to enter the United States without documentation, but not for them to do so!”
So here we are again. After welcoming just a few caravans into the country, Central Americans are now seeing the Mexico that we’ve known all of these years.
Has anything really changed?
Silvio Canto , Jr. is a Cuban-born U.S. citizen who teaches English at a north Texas college. He is the author of the book “Cubanos in Wisconsin” and has a daily online radio program and blog dealing with U.S. and Latin American politics, as well as sports and historic events.