“The US cares more about drug violence than immigration reform,” says Federico Gonzalez, a retired government worker in Mexico City who says he has little faith that a new immigration law will be on the books any time soon. “It is always the same. [US presidential candidates] promise it during their campaigns, and then they do nothing.”
The US-Mexico relationship has been defined by the fight against drug trafficking, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scheduled to visit Mexico City Tuesday to discuss the Merida Initiative, the aid package to help Mexico battle its deadly cartels.
But while US priorities might be on security, for many Mexicans, their main wish is legal status for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.
“There are so many Mexicans who have lived many years in the US. [Obama] discussed doing something about this in his campaign. But now he does not touch it,” says José Barrios, a priest in Ciudad Juarez from Casa del Migrante, an organization that helps Mexican migrants. “The North American does not value the Mexican hand of labor.”