- The Washington Times - Friday, January 17, 2020

If the illegal immigrants waiting in Mexico had a vote in the presidential election, they’d vote to oust President Trump, according to an immigration expert who is touring south of the border and speaking with those snared by the president’s get-tough policies.

Todd Bensman, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, said he’s encountered dozens of “politically woke” migrants who say they’re prepared to wait in Mexico through the presidential election, hoping Mr. Trump loses and a more welcoming Democrat wins and ends Mr. Trump’s policies.

“I want Trump out!” Mr. Bensman quoted one migrant, Katherine Cabrera, a Honduran, as saying. “I’ll wait for that because it would make things easier to get in.”

SEE ALSO: Hill Democrats vow to fight future budget raids for Trump border wall

Another told Mr. Bensman he will apply for asylum in Mexico — but only to have a platform to wait “until Trump leaves,” and then he’ll head north, confident the next president won’t be as strict.

Amid last year’s record border surge, and failing to get help from Congress, Mr. Trump used the heavyweight power of the U.S. to force Latin American countries to do more to stop the flow of people headed north.

His threat of crippling tariffs brought Mexico to the table, and that country agreed to deploy tens of thousands of national guard troops to derail Central American migrants attempted to reach the U.S. via Mexico.

The new Mexican government also said it would expand cooperation with Mr. Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which has sent tens of thousands of migrants back across the border to wait for their immigration hearings in U.S. courts.

Meanwhile the administration halted payments of foreign assistance to Central American governments, who then came to the table and signed deals agreeing to take back asylum-seekers who cross their territory en route to the U.S.

Those policies have all but ended the Central American family surge from last year.

Some of those migrants, trapped in Mexico, have headed home.

But Mr. Bensman, who is talking to migrants on Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, found others who say they’re willing to risk the crossing convinced Mr. Trump won’t stop them forever.

“A lot of people in El Salvador believe he [Trump] is the reason all this is happening, that he is selfish and cruel and doing everything he can to make us suffer,” Mr. Bensman quoted one woman, who was planning to cross into Mexico with her two children. “But once Trump is defeated and the Democrats take over, things are going to get better.”

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