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How Mexico’s general election this weekend could impact immigration, economy

JUAREZ, Chihuahua (KVIA) -- Ahead of Mexico's general election this Sunday, residents, officials, and authorities are all voicing a range of concerns.

Immigration, economy, trade, and education are some of the main concerns for Mexican voters.

Claudia Sheinbaum and Xóchilt Gálvez are the favorite candidates to win Mexico's presidency this Sunday. This means Mexico will most likely elect its first female president this weekend.

In recent years, the border has faced immigration issues. In 2022, the border saw an increase in Venezuelan migrants, changing the immigration sphere as we know it in the Borderland.

Experts say the relationship between Mexico and the U.S. could change with the upcoming general elections this year.

Immigration has been a big issue at the polls. In fiscal year 2023, the El Paso Sector was the one that recorded the most number of encounters with migrants.

Economy is another element that could influence who wins the presidential election Sunday.

Recent migrant surges have recently caused U.S. Customs and Border Protection to shut down commercial operations at ports of entry.

Trains and commercial trucks have been stranded for weeks several times due to migrant surges.

"What we're seeing in public polling in the United States is that immigration is a very top concern, is it's like a top three concern nationally. Not always has been the case, it's usually the economics, and conflict around the world," said Dr. Victor Manjarres, Director of the Center for Law and Human Behavior at UTEP.

He is a retired U.S. Border Patrol Chief here in El Paso and Tucson. He worked there for over twenty years.

Dr. Manjarrez also said both Mexico and the U.S. have done a very poor job the last several years following and enforcing migratory regulatory practices that already exist.

"I hear people saying the immigration system is broken or I hear shut the border down or open the border. I don't know what those mean, and I spent over two decades, on that," Dr. Manjarrez added.

Inflation and trade have been a very important topic of conversation during these past administrations.

ABC-7 also reached out to UTEP Professor of Economics Dr. Tom Fullerton.

He said Northern Mexican states will be in a better position with whoever wins Mexico's General Election because outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador never got along with the border.

"That's one area where you know, we could see a deterioration in the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, that could have bad repercussions, not only on the border, but in the the North American economy as a whole," Dr. Fulleron said.

President López Obrador was able to get along with the Trump administration in 2018-2020. For Professor Fullerton there is no clear indication that Dr. Sheinbaum will be able to do the same thing.

"In the old days, you would say that the border between the United States and Mexico was an imaginary line, most of it was a river without water, but that border was very imposing; the border was very thick. Under Mayor Sheinbaum, we face the risk that that border may thicken further. And if it does, it's going to be at the expense of business opportunities, trade volumes, and job opportunities for a large number, if not all, of the border metropolitan economies," Dr. Fullerton added.

The relationship between Mexico and China could also be another thing that could affect the relationship between Mexico and the U.S.

Mexico has done business and trade with China recently, which the U.S. might not like in the future depending on who wins the U.S. General Election in November.

Article Topic Follows: On the Border

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Heriberto Perez

Heriberto Perez Lara reports for ABC-7 on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.


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