Sunday the 11th of April

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Mexican bishops on migrants: ‘We cannot turn ourselves into that wall’

The Mexican bishops’ conference questioned the details of a deal in which Mexico will strengthen security along its southern border with Guatemala and impede the path of migrants fleeing poverty, violence and food insecurity.

“We express our concern for the lack of a truly humanitarian reception for our brother migrants, which reflects our convictions regarding the protection of the rights of all human beings equally,” the bishops said in a statement.

“Our brother migrants must never be a bargaining chip. No negotiations should be placed above what the Church and civil society have defended for years: not criminalising migrants nor the defenders of human rights,” the statement said. “If we have rejected as Mexicans the construction of a (border) wall, we cannot turn ourselves into that wall,” which would stop migrants in southern Mexico.

Mexico and the United States struck a deal on 7th June after US President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs of 5 per cent on Mexican imports and increase the tariffs until migration through Mexico stopped.

In the deal, Mexico agreed to send 6,000 members of its newly formed militarised police to patrol its porous border with Guatemala. It also agreed to take back more asylum-seekers, who would wait in Mexican border cities as their claims proceed in US courts.

Picture: Residents of Tecun Uman, Guatemala, and migrants from Central America cross the Suchiate River on 10th June 2019, to enter Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico. The Mexican bishops’ conference questioned details of the US-Mexico immigration deal, in which Mexico will strengthen security along its southern border with Guatemala and impede the path of migrants fleeing poverty, violence and food insecurity. (CNS photo/Jose Cabezas, Reuters).