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2013-05-03

As Migrant Toll Mounts, Mexicans Urge Obama to Put Human Rights at Center of Immigration Reform

Guests

Marco Castillo, an organizer with Migrant Families Popular Assembly and the Acción Migrante campaign, which is calling for human rights to be the focus of migration policy changes.

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President Obama has traveled to Mexico for a two-day visit to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Part of their talks are focused on U.S. immigration reform. Outside the U.S. embassy in Mexico City, protesters have called on Obama to keep his promise to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. We’re joined by Marco Castillo, an organizer with Migrant Families Popular Assembly and the Acción Migrante campaign. Citing the continued deaths of migrant workers trying to make their way north from Mexico, Castillo calls for human rights, not "border security," to be the focus of policy changes. "We’re going through a humanitarian crisis on the borders of the U.S. and Mexico," Castillo says.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to Mexico, where President Obama has traveled for a two-day visit to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Part of their talks are focused on immigration reform.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, outside the U.S. embassy in Mexico City, protesters called on Obama to keep his promise to overhaul immigration laws.

For more, we go to Mexico City, where we are joined by Marco Castillo, an organizer with Migrant Families Popular Assembly and Acción Migrante campaign, which is calling for human rights to be the focus of migration policy changes, joining us by Democracy Now! video stream.

Welcome. Tell us what your actions that you have planned today.

[no audio]

We’re going to first go to a SOT—

MARCO CASTILLO: OK, I’m sorry. Yes, yes, yes.

AMY GOODMAN: Oh, yes, here.

MARCO CASTILLO: I’m here.

AMY GOODMAN: We hear you now.

MARCO CASTILLO: OK. Good morning, everybody.

AMY GOODMAN: So, if you could repeat what you said.

MARCO CASTILLO: Yes, yes, I will. Today we’ll be protesting outside of the U.S. embassy, and then we’re going to march until—to create a memorial on all migrants who have been disappeared, killed. And, yes, that’s what we’re going to be doing today.

AMY GOODMAN: And why are you protesting?

MARCO CASTILLO: Yes, well, just two facts, very quick today. This morning, we have the news that 10 migrants, Central American migrants, on their way to the north border were pushed away from the train. Many of them are injured. Two of them are severely injured. And we’re going through a big humanitarian crisis on the borders of the U.S. and Mexico. And on the other hand, we have, between January and March, $41,000—million have been sent from Mexican workers in the U.S. to Mexico. So we have two realities. We have a reality of economic, social and cultural contributions of Mexicans and migrants in the United States; and on the other hand, we have a big criminalization that have been—put all human rights at stake on the border. So, what we are claiming is to put humans on the center of collaboration, any collaboration, between both governments, Mexico and the U.S.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And in the 30 seconds we have left, President Obama is seen as a supporter of immigration reform, yet his administration has also deported tens of thousands of people to Mexico. How is it seen in Mexico?

MARCO CASTILLO: Yes. Well, we always are hopeful for an immigration reform, and we always welcome any effort, but the truth is that we’re pretty disappointed on the kind of immigration reform that they are offering, where national security is in the center of it. We want human rights. We want humans to be put in the center of this immigration reform.

AMY GOODMAN: Marco Castillo, we want to thank you very much for being with us from Mexico City.

MARCO CASTILLO: Thank you very much.

AMY GOODMAN: Organizer with Migrant Families Popular Assembly and Acción Migrante. We thank you so much for joining us.

And that does it for our broadcast. I want to let you know that Democracy Now! does have a job opening, and you can go to our website at democracynow.org.

And Juan González’s new film Harvest of Empire is premiering tonight in Houston, May 3rd, at the Sundance Cinema, playing through May 10th. And you’ll be next week, Juan, on May 10th at?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: In Philadelphia, where it’s playing there, as well, yes.

AMY GOODMAN: The job, we’re hiring an annual giving manager to head up our individual giving program. Apply if you’re passionate about funding independent media and have experience with online fundraising, annual giving campaigns, donor relations and database management. You find out more at our website, democracynow.org.

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