Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Latino lawmakers criticize Trump White House meeting with Mexico’s López Obrador

Latino lawmakers and a national Latino group are blasting President Trump for scheduling a visit of Mexico’s president to the White House amid rising coronavirus cases and despite policies that have targeted Mexican and Central American migrants.

Mexico President Andres Manuel López Obrador left his country yesterday for the meeting with President Trump today. The White House billed the visit as a celebration of the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement, the trade treaty that took effect July 1, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose to skip the meeting.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquín Castro slammed Trump for engaging in political spin to distract from his “failure to contain” the coronavirus pandemic that has disproportionately affected Latinos in some states. CHC members signed a July 1 letter to Trump that said holding the meeting while members were in their districts addressing the needs of communities devastated by the pandemic is a “blatant attempt to politicize the important U.S.-Mexico relationship along partisan lines.”

The lawmakers pointed to border states such as Arizona and Texas, where COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been escalating, while the American death toll rises and the economy sinks. They added that any meeting with Mexico should include discussions of the 4,000 troops that remain at the border and consideration of ending Trump policies forcing asylum seekers to wait out their cases in Mexico.

Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” asylum policies have put migrants at risk of cartel violence and human trafficking and coronavirus infection, Castro said. “Make no mistake, from separating families and putting kids in cages to trying to deport Dreamers, President Trump is hell bent on inflicting cruelty on Latinos and immigrants and our communities for political gain,” Castro said in a statement.