With racism focused on Mexico, Donald Trump galvanized blue collar workers angry because they’ve lost their jobs — or fear losing the jobs they do have — as companies send manufacturing across the border and overseas.
Directing rage at the powerless has always been a tool of right wing populism [and even left-wing versions earlier in this country’s history], and Donald Trump played it perfectly, winning over solid majorities of blue collar voters who saw Hillary Clinton as the very embodiment of the globalism they deeply fear and resent.
And now Mexico, the nation he picked as his target, is bracing for the impact of a Trump presidency.
A spokesman for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said the government is working on a plan to deal with mass deportations under the next U.S. president, Donald Trump.
“There are instructions from the president to analyze in all the agencies of the State where there could be contingencies or in which opportunities should be addressed,” Eduardo Sanchez, Peña Nieto’s spokesman, said on Monday, adding that additional details will be revealed Wednesday.
Sanchez said the topic of deportations would be part of any discussion between Peña Nieto and Trump. The efforts are being coordinated by Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz in hopes to have measures in place if deportations were to begin under Trump’s administration, La Nacion reports.
“We will have to see how many of those deportations, usually done by the United States government to the countries where the illegal immigrants are from, are for Mexico,” Sanchez said during a press conference. “Of course this and other matters will be part of the agenda that Mexico brings to the table during the bilateral meetings that will take place with the government-elect of President Donald Trump.”
And worries focus on remittances
Many Mexicans work in the United States because even minimum wage jobs north of the border pay more than they could make in their homeland.
And much of the money they make is sent back to Mexico as remittances to support families still living there.
But Trump’s deportation threats and his financing plan for the border wall that was a cornerstone of his campaign platform threatens both those workers and their families.
From El País:
It’s a busy morning in the market of Zinapécuaro, in the northern Mexican state of Michoacán, with around a dozen stallholders setting up shop on improvised stands. Some are cutting up prickly pear and laying out fresh vegetables while others ready displays of fish in their death throes. But other invisible hands also play their role in the local economy. They are the migrants who have gone to the United States and last year sent $2.5 billion to Michoacán – the most of any state in Mexico.
Municipalities like Zinapécuaro are now facing an uncertain future because of Donald Trump’s plans for the mass deportation of up to three million Mexican migrants who have committed crimes, and due to his desire to build a wall between the US and Mexico using cash from money transfers made by Mexicans living in the US to their families back home.
In a memo from earlier this year, Trump said he planned to fund the wall by threatening to block remittances from Mexican immigrants living illegally in the US to their families back home – a move that would seriously damage the Mexican economy where such money transfers make up 2% of GDP. Those remittances would only be allowed to flow again once the Mexican government agreed to make a one-time payment for the cost of building the wall.
“It’s an easy decision for Mexico,” Trump wrote at the time.
But the experts believe it won’t be easy for Trump to carry out his plans to take control of the remittances of Mexicans to build a wall along the Mexico–US border.
“It would difficult to tax or block [the remittances] but there could be attempts to control these resources. It would be very inhumane because it would affect the poorest of the poor,” explains Jerjes Aguirre, professor at the Institute of Economic and Business Studies at the University of Michoacán.