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Mass deportations from the U.S.? Think again, says Mexican activist

WBFO's Mike Desmond

President-elect Donald Trump is rich while most of the world is poor and a Mexican activist says only the people, and not a political class, can solve the problems between the U.S., Mexico and the world.

Mexican activist Luz Rivera spoke Monday night at Canisius College to an alliance of activist groups.

"What's going to get us to move forward is not going to be from the political class. We don't believe in that," Rivera says through an interpreter. "It's going to come from the movement, from the base, from people, from Mexicans that are going to work toward those changes. We can't put our trust in that political system."

Rivera is from the relatively small Mexican state of Tlaxcala, organizes workers outside of the political system and opposes genetically modified foods.

She also opposes many stands taken by the president-elect about her country and his plans to continue President Barack Obama's massive returns of illegal residents in the U.S. Rivera says Trump is supporting the wrong people.

"The president-elect is not a person that is fighting for the rights of the working class - not for the working class in the United States, not for the working class in the world. So when we look at if there are going to be jobs or no jobs in Mexico, Mexico is not going to be worse off than it is right now considering the president that they have right now," Rivera says.

Credit WBFO's Mike Desmond

Rivera says the question really is not the effect on Mexico of mass deportations, because that country has been dealing with that for years. Instead, she asks, What is the effect on the U.S. of mass deportation of workers, especially agricultural workers sent back to Mexico?

"What is going to happen when you kick out the labor force and that is of people from Latin America, right?" she asks. "What is going to happen to communities? What is going to happen to your spaces?"

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.