SourceMex focuses on Mexican economic and political issues such as trade and investment, agriculture, elections, the petroleum industry, environment and sustainability, human rights, and social issues. It also places particular emphasis on developments and analysis of U.S.-Mexico relations, including matters related to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Current IssueImmigration Policy Remains a Key Topic in U.S. Presidential Contest
Immigration remains an important point of debate in the US presidential race, but the political parties are putting a different emphasis on their proposals. Republican candidate Donald Trump continues to put a major focus on expanding and strengthening the existing wall along the US-Mexican border, while his Democratic counterpart, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has proposed an “urgent” fix to the immigration system to provide a path for undocumented immigrants to legalize their status. Throughout the campaign, Trump had called for the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, and often repeated his statement referring to undocumented Mexican immigrants as “rapists, drug traffickers, and criminals.” However, during a television interview in late August, Trump backed down from his hard line, saying he was open to “softening” his plan to deport all undocumented immigrants, which are estimated at more than 11 million. He also noted that “some undocumented immigrants are great people.” A centerpiece of Trump’s immigration stance, however, remains his proposal to expand and strengthen the wall separating the US and Mexico. This position was reflected in the Republican Party platform, endorsed at the party’s convention in July.Human Trafficking Remains a Major Problem in Mexico
Human trafficking, as the modern version of slavery is known, is growing rapidly in Mexico, although authorities and experts do not have exact numbers and can only provide estimates. According to one expert, Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), tens of thousands of Mexicans have become victims of trafficking . “There is no overall figure of the potential number of victims of trafficking,” said Fuentes Alcalá, coordinator of the Cátedra Extraordinaria Trata de Personas (Chair on Human Trafficking) at UNAM. “The estimates range from 20,000 to 300,000 in the Mexican case, and globally, the UN estimates into the millions.” A large percentage of the victims are women and girls, who are forced into prostitution. Studies from UNAM, the Mexican government, and the UN suggest that human trafficking is a very lucrative economic activity for criminal organizations in Mexico and overseas, providing the third largest source of their income after the sale of drugs and the sale of weapons. At the global level, human trafficking represents an annual US$32 billion to US$36 billion business, according to the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking. There are no reliable statistics on the value of the illegal activity in Mexico, but one estimate puts the earnings from human traffickers at US$2 billion annually.