by Jason Hopkins
Central American migrants hoping to enter the United States have said they will wait in Mexico in the hope that President Donald Trump loses reelection, where they will then cross the U.S. border.
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that advocates for reduced immigration, visited southern Mexico and interviewed Central American migrants who have ambitions of reaching the U.S. However, because of the policies put in place by the Trump administration, they are unable to migrate any father north.
Their plan? Wait in Mexico and bet on Trump losing the election in November. Once that happens, they said they believe the rules that are preventing them from migrating will be lifted, and they will then be able to claim asylum in the U.S.
“I want Trump out!” said Katherine Cabrera, one of the Honduran migrant interviewed by CIS. “I’ll wait for that because it would make things easier to get in.”
Cabrera is one of many Honduran migrants stuck in Tapachua, a southern Mexican city that sits just north of the Guatemalan border. Because of travel agreements between Central American countries, many of their citizens are able to pass freely through each other’s countries. However, Central American migrants find themselves stuck once they hit the Mexican border. At that point, they must apply for protected status there, or return home.
Many of the migrants interviewed by CIS said they are seeking asylum in Mexico, but they have no intention of staying there permanently. Instead, they will enjoy protected status in Mexico until Trump loses election, and then trek northward into the U.S. once — as they believe — the restrictionist immigration rules are taken down.
“A lot of people in El Salvador believe he [Trump] is the reason all this is happening, that he is selfish and cruel and doing everything he can to make us suffer,” said Brenda Ramos of El Salvador. “But once Trump is defeated and the Democrats take over, things are going to get better.”
At Tapachula’s main detention center, CIS asked five migrant women if they were staying in Mexico in the hopes that Trump is defeated at the end of 2020. All of them reportedly raised their hands instantly.
The gamble these migrants are making is not exactly ill-conceived. Every leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination has vowed to disassemble Trump’s most consequential immigration policies, particularly the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program. Better known as “Remain in Mexico,” the MPP program requires U.S. asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for the duration of their court proceedings.
Other, more progressive candidates vying for the Democratic nomination have adopted much more extreme positions on immigration. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, for example, both proposed decriminalizing illegal immigration and placing a moratorium on all deportations.
There are well over 50,000 migrants under the “Remain in Mexico” program. If a Democratic administration took over in 2021, they would presumably be allowed to enter the U.S. while their cases are processed.
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Jason Hopkins is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.