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Deported Mexicans: From exploited and precarious workers to forced migrants of return

"Forced migrants, refugees and deportees are an irrefutable and undeniable example of the world as a chronically unequal and structurally inequitable scenario. In the era of globalization, human rights are not met or respected. The deportation (expulsion) of thousands who left their country of origin seeking to survive can not be justified; the deported migrants only worked in arduous conditions to get ahead in a foreign place. It is unfair to call them "criminals". They only seek the perspective of a better future and a dignified life".
Urbano Arbide

To the memory of José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, murdered in 2012 by an agent of the Border Patrol

Deported Mexicans and Xenophobia

In recent decades, the US government that most undocumented Mexicans have deported was the Obama administration, with numbers that ranged between two and three million people. Most of the deported migrants had been captured in the attempt to cross the border and enter the United States (EU). These numbers, as well as the number of Mexican migrants in an irregular situation who were trying to enter the United States, dropped markedly over the years.

However, with the arrival of the current US administration, deportations have increased again. Now, the deportations are oriented by an exacerbated racism as immigration policy. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service has played such a prominent role in the current arrests, as the Border Patrol had years ago. According to the Pew Research Center, the difference between the last year of the previous US administration and the first one of the current one has been notorious and alarming -from a little more than 110 thousand to more than 143 thousand-. The growing number of Mexican deportees between the beginning of the current government and the present date is also drastic.

Before most of the arrests of Mexicans occurred in the border area. Now they are inside the territory of the United States and show a government policy of harassment, persecution and criminalization of undocumented migrants in their various workplaces, their homes and the places where they travel and carry out their social life. From a biased view that is based more on stigmatizing prejudices and discriminatory fictions, deportations are justified by the repeated lie that the majority of Mexican migrants are "dangerous criminals". However, the reality and many academic studies show the contrary. The vast majority of migrants have no criminal records and are individuals who, in the context of the lack of socio-material development options and facing adverse life contexts, were forced to leave their homes. They were in need of searching in another country for the welfare opportunities that were denied to them in their places of origin.

Mexican migrants, from labor exploitation to forced migration

Most of undocumented Mexican migrants, far from being "the dangerous criminals" of xenophobic and uninformed rhetoric, are poorly paid workers. These migrant workers, by reducing the production costs of various merchandise and goods, increase the profits of their employers and corporations -of agriculture, construction and manufacturing-; employers and corporations take advantage of them and their need for work. More than thieves and criminals, the hundreds of thousands of migrants generate more wealth and accelerate the processes of capital accumulation.

In general, Mexicans in an irregular situation in the US receive a lower salary, are in precarious working conditions and lack social security and full labor rights. Mexican migrants are clearly exploited workers and in situations of social marginalization. To these adverse living conditions, now they suffer an aggressive policies of the current US government. The current administration criminalizes and stigmatizes migrants because they lack immigration documents. Mexican migrants are in a situation of greater vulnerability and of a clear exposure to humiliations and violations of their labor and human rights, both provoked by the authorities and by xenophobic groups.

Although they do not have the dimensions of the first years of the previous administration, in the current US government the deportations have already affected more than one hundred thousand Mexicans who lived in the US and who were forced to return to Mexico; many of whom had already made their lives in that country. Deportations are not return migration processes. Given the violence and aggressions that they currently imply, the deportations are a forced migration that, contrary to the will of the deportees, forces these Mexicans to return to a country from which they had to leave for various reasons.

Therefore, the migrants are doubly expelled and marginalized. First of their country of origin when years ago they left in search of a better future. And, now, the country of destination that forces them to leave against their decision, because they lack immigration documents. Many of the migrants, after years of living in the US, had already established their home and family in that country. In addition, the deportations not only affect the deportees themselves, but also the families and social networks of which they were integral parts. There are thousands of homes that have been separated and divided, exposed to processes of family breakdown and contexts of psychological stress and material precariousness. There is also a much larger number of families living in the anxiety of being potential targets for deportations.

 source: ALAINET.ORG.