A nationalist surge has arisen in Mexico due to what many there see as President Donald Trump's intent to broaden the scope of deportations of undocumented immigrants, but it's taking an odd shape: a push by influential Mexicans to jam U.S. courts to keep Mexican illegals in the U.S.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a group called Monarca — named after the Monarch butterflies that migrate across North America — is pushing several measures that aim to help Mexican migrants living in the U.S., one of which involves an ad campaign urging those targeted for deportation to take their cases to court.
“The backlog in the immigration system is tremendous,” former Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda, a member of the group, told The Journal. He wants to double or triple that backlog, “until [U.S. President Donald] Trump desists in this stupid idea."
Castenada is just one member of Monarca with ties to the Mexican government. The group claims Mexican officials, legislators, senators, governors and other public figures, although it has not been officially endorsed by the Mexican government or Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
The group is planning a meeting with migrant groups in Phoenix on Saturday to discuss the marketing push and other plans — including making the U.S. provide proof that illegals are Mexican before that country accepts deportees; introducing legislation to prohibit the Mexican government from allocating funds to build a border wall; and possible retaliatory measures if the U.S. should institute a border tax on Mexican exports.
“We want to be friends, but in the face of continued hostility we don’t have to keep a friendly attitude forever,” Arturo Zamora, a senator with Peña Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, told the Journal.
The group is responding to what they see as overly harsh and broadening policies regarding immigration from the Trump administration, which they believe will start with harsh executive orders that will curtail former President Barack Obama's policies protecting younger illegals brought to the U.S. as children.
According to the Journal, the problem of what might happen to Mexican illegals in the U.S. is fast becoming a political issue, with Pena Nieto greeting returning deportees at airports, and some populist Mexican leaders striking out on tours in U.S. cities with large Mexican populations, starting Sunday with a rally in Los Angeles. Monarca's Castaneda says Mexico would ultimately like keep illegal Mexican migrants in the U.S. rather than resettling them in Mexico, where many would lack jobs.
The increased concern over the immigration issue is the latest fissure in the fracturing relationship between the two countries. Trump and Pena Nieto have had a public disagreement over a proposed border wall, with Trump repeatedly asserting the Mexico would fund the wall, and Mexico repeatedly denying it. The wall will reportedly cost $21.6 billion and take 3.5 years to construct, The Blaze reported Friday.