JUAREZ, MEXICO (AIP) - Facing over 50,000 illegal immigrants at the border seeking asylum, the President took to the airwaves today in an attempt- some say much belated - to try and halt the flow and put an end to the crisis that has developed in recent months.
“We must make it clear to these folks that they simply can’t walk across the border and enjoy all the benefits of being in this country” said Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in a speech aired by both Univision and Telemundo. “These people from the North must learn that there are legal ways to enter our country and those who attempt to evade those ways are not wanted here.”
The North or United States side of the Rio Grande, that small ribbon of water that separates the two countries, is littered with the SUV’s, luxury cars, motorcycles and RV’s that the illegal immigrants have abandoned to wade the river and enter into Mexico.
The journey to the border was fraught with peril for many.
“I came here for a new start, a chance,” said microbiologist Marcus Brown, whose odyssey began in Westchester, New York. He abandoned his 2013 Corvette on a dusty side street in El Paso, TX to wade across the Rio Grande. “I had to endure poor restaurant food, marginal hotels and surly gas station attendants. It was hell.
“But I want to live free and have opportunities that the United States doesn’t offer.”
Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz said that his country’s main concern is jobs.
“These undocumented gringos take the traditionally low paying jobs here, jobs that our youth would normally fill,” said Ferriz. “Doctors, lawyers, astrophysicists, upper level management; those menial jobs that our kids used to do in the summer.”
President Nieto said he was prepared to get tough to staunch the flow.
“We in this country have a reputation for being mean drunks and needlessly cruel,” said Nieto. “It’s a well-earned reputation. You come to this country in your Tommy Bahamas and Sperry Topsiders and you’ll find that out.”