Mexican political analyst Denise Dresser recently wrote that Canada’s government “seems ready to throw embattled Mexicans under the bus just to appease Mr. Trump,” and that when we “open the door to a Syrian,” we have “just slammed it in the face of a Mexican.” She expects Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to be the knight in shining armour defending us, poor Mexicans, from the angry monster in the White House.
But the truth is that the situation in Syria is different from that in Mexico. The Syrian refugees accepted into Canada have endured a long screening process. They haven’t just travelled here saying that they’re on vacation and then file bogus refugee claims. That’s certainly what many Mexicans did in the past and are doing again.
Syrian refugees are escaping a full-fledged war. Mexico’s war against drugs is brutal, but the last time I checked, there’s no Aleppo in Mexico yet. So we cannot compare the two. It’s true that Mexico has dangerous places, but people are still free to move from one city to another in search of safety. There are still many places where a decent, hard-working person can start over. Thus, for most it’s not imperative to flee the country.
Those Mexicans who have crossed the border into the United States have done so in search of jobs and a better life. Now that the situation there has become increasingly hostile, many are setting their sights on Canada. Applying for refugee status means that you cannot stay in your country because your life is under direct threat. Those people who have come here from Syria fit that description. Most Mexicans do not.
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