López Obrador urges Mexican-Americans to shun anti-immigrant parties

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President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Wednesday that United States citizens of Mexican heritage should not vote for political parties that oppose regularizing undocumented immigrants.

“If one party of the two that exist (in the U.S.) votes against regularization of our compatriots, we will express ourselves that our compatriots not support that party,” the Mexican leader told reporters at his daily news conference.

People with roots in México should not align themselves with U.S. politicians who are anti-México, he said.

“Why (support them) if they don’t take us into account, if they don’t respect us,” the leftist president said.

López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, said that the current U.S. president, Democrat Joe Biden, favors immigration reform to create a path to legalization for the estimated 11 million undocumented Mexicans living north of the border.

AMLO said that Americans of Mexican origin should aspire to exercising the same level of political influence in the U.S. that Cuban-Americans do.

To illustrate the point, he attributed the persistence of Washington’s six-decade-old economic embargo against the Communist government in Havana to the clout of politically engaged Cuban-Americans.

Turning to the challenges posed for México by waves of people from third countries entering its territory with hopes of reaching the US, the president said that his administration is taking steps to better protect those migrants.

Mexican police and migration agents have been criticized for their treatment of those migrants, who come mainly from Central America, though there are also significant numbers of Haitians and Venezuelans.

Last week, a truck packed with undocumented migrants flipped over on a highway in the southern state of Chiapas, leaving 55 people dead and dozens of others injured.

The National Guard has established checkpoints on roads near the border with Guatemala to deter traffickers from smuggling migrants in freight trucks and regulatory agencies are stepping up scrutiny of transportation companies, AMLO said.