Martin Méndez Pineda is a Mexican journalist who sought asylum in the US due to constant threats and harassment from corrupt police officers in his hometown, Acapulco. However, after a long and difficult process, Mr. Pineda agreed to deportation back to Mexico. It started when he published an article exposing police abuse in a traffic accident. On February 22, 2016, Méndez went to the scene of an accident involving a police truck, and saw that the police were abusing instead of helping the injured passengers. He took photos as the police pushed a wounded old man against the wall. Because of this, officers took Méndez’s camera and ID, and order him to leave. The police were part of paramilitary squadron inaugurated by president Enrique Peña Nieto in 2014. Méndez published this story on the following day, but received threatening phone calls, followed by harassment in the streets. Several weeks later, a few armed men entered his home, pointed a gun to his face and warned him to be quiet. Méndez was terrified, and moved to another city, Guerrero, yet the threatening phone calls continued. He moved across country, but the phone calls would not stop. Méndez realized that it was not safe to remain in Mexico, so he decided to seek asylum in the United States.
Upon his arrival, Méndez was held in three detention centers, where the living environment was poor and the food inedible. Once, Méndez was chained for 26 hours. He said that the police treated the people there with terrible attitudes. When Méndez finally appeared before a judge in early May, he was told that the next hearing wouldn’t be until August. He couldn’t take it and agreed to be deported—however, he can’t go back to his hometown, and his safety is still uncertain.
Mexico is ranked as the most dangerous country in the western hemisphere for press. More than 100 journalists have been killed in the country since 2000, and 20 others have disappeared.
On the other hand, it is said that US immigration courts receives 600,000 cases nationwide. In the meantime, more than 400 undocumented immigrants are being detained everyday—38% higher than last year.
Our Verdict: The United States is becoming increasingly hostile against migrants and refugees. Accepting and accommodating immigrants and refugees who are persecuted in their own countries should be a matter of humanitarian support, rather than Trump’s politics.