Mexico Is Sending a Clear Message…”No More Ukrainians”

Marko Subotin /

Mexico got a dose of its own medicine. For years, and still, the Mexican government has had nary a problem with allowing untold hordes of sweaty immigrants to hike through their country en route to the U.S. as long as they kept walking. They’ve done nada to dissuade them. But every now and then what goes around comes around, and at long last, Mexico had its turn in the barrel and they didn’t like it. 

The problem wasn’t with massive swarms of South and Central Americans. They’re still trying to swim the Rio Grande into the U.S. The problem was with the Ukrainian refugees camped out just east of Mexico City.

Granted, only 198 Ukrainians remain of the over 1,000 who were initially at the camp, and they have U.S. sponsors lined up so they’ll be getting out of there soon. But this isn’t going to have a fairy tale ending.

The moment the final remaining refugee boards an outbound flight, the camp is being shut down before they can toss their luggage in the overhead. By doing so, Mexico is sending a clear message to Ukrainians still trying to escape the war. “We don’t want you. Go be a burden to someone else.”

But Anastasiya Polo, spokeswoman for the non-profit organization, United with Ukraine, said the camp’s closure is not for the reasons people think. She said that as long as someone is in a safe location, they should not waste their time and money coming to Mexico.

“We are asking people from Europe, Ukrainians, to go through the program from Europe, do not come to Mexico because it is much more expensive for them, it is a lot of traveling,” she said. June 1 will be the final day for letting anyone new into the camp though those who remain will continue to receive assistance and support. 

Just four days following the announcement of the program United for Ukraine on April 21, Ukrainian refugees began arriving in Tijuana so they could walk across the U.S. border.

The refugees were exempt from the COVID-19 restrictions that were allowing border agents to expel immigrants without question. Once the huge influx became backlogged and southern border conditions worsened, the Ukrainians were relocated to Mexico City to wait things out for proper entry, and the task is almost accomplished.

Since the majority of Ukrainian men stayed behind to help protect their homeland, Ukraine’s more than 6.5 million refugees have consisted of mostly women, children, and elderly men unable to fight.  

Back to Mexico. Sure, they helped out, but only as long as it was forced on them to keep from getting a bad rap. What else could they do? The refugees were already there and the world was watching.

Other than this forced goodwill gesture, Mexico hasn’t lifted a finger in the fight against illegal immigration. Its borders don’t even need to be crashed as caravans heading north roll on through without interruption. 

Mexico could work with the U.S. to help curb the huge problem, but since the immigrants marching to the U.S. are dropping pesos into the Mexican economy along their journey, why should they? 

Don’t be fooled. Mexico didn’t offer its support to Ukraine, they just got stuck dealing with an uninvited problem.