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Raúl de Jesús Torres made history on June 6 when he won the seat of representative of migrants in Congress in Mexico City, the first of its kind to win in the largest elections in Mexican history.
Torres, the candidate for the National Action Party (PAN), won the vote of 54% of Chilangos – a colloquial term used to identify Mexicans born in México City (CDMX) – who voted in Sunday’s elections and live in 46 countries, including Mexico and the United States
Alongside Torres, 10 other mostly US-based candidates ran for the position, but the PAN representative won with 4,883 votes in his favor from Mexican nationals living in both CDMX and abroad.
Torres told La Voz/The Arizona Republic exclusively that one of his priorities is to create a commission on migrant affairs in Congress in Mexico City, his goal is to help assert the rights of Mexicans who live and live. fight for a better life on the outside. the country.
According to the representative, this kind of commission “does not exist today… With the new (election) results, we have a lot of possibilities,” Torres said.
With this new commission, it will be possible to legally establish rules for direct support to migrants, he said.
According to the Electoral Institute of Mexico City, in this year’s elections, 1,556 votes were cast by post, while the remaining 7,350 were submitted through the electronic voting system available online. A total of 8,906 of the 12,226 Chilangos who registered to vote overseas cast ballots.
“We had election observers from the electronic voting system, as well as from the mail-in ballot,” he said, adding that although at first he was weak on the count, he was confident that young voters would vote in its favor.
It didn’t hurt that two other candidates – Progressive Social Media candidate Tonatiuh Hernández Cuazitl and Solidarity Encounter candidate Nancy Guadalupe Oviedo Camacho – ended up supporting his candidacy.
“Nancy and Tonatiuh have decided to put aside their personal aspirations to support my agenda. That is why they are an important part of this victory, as I have always said: the migrant agenda goes beyond parties I recognize their great contribution,” he said. said.
Another of his priorities during his three years as Representative is to watch over the Dreamers — recipients of former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). While acknowledging the importance of supporting them in the United States, he also stressed the importance of supporting these people once they return to CDMX.
“(The Dreamers) are people with many aspirations who, unfortunately, due to their immigration status, left the United States and returned to CDMX,” Torres said. These are the people, he said, who are prepared and who should be invested in, in order to improve the community.
In Torres’ agenda, he also proposed strengthening support for women living abroad from all economic strata, to provide them with resources for childcare and health care. The issue of gender-based violence is also one he intends to address.
American immigrant returns home
His current position as migrant representative in the Mexico City Congress requires Torres to reside in Mexico City. But at a young age, Torres came face to face with the migrant experience.
When he was a child, Torres recalls, his father had to emigrate to the United States and had to fight to achieve the American dream.
“My father left Mexico when I was 5 years old. In 1994, he went to Los Angeles, crossed the border with $100, and thank God he worked hard and fulfilled the American dream by starting a family business,” Torres said. “Fifteen years later, I was able to study at Harvard.
Torres holds a degree in international relations, Cum Laude, from Endicott College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Raúl was the only Mexican from the class of 2011 accepted into the Harvard Law School negotiation program. After graduating, he took several courses in political analysis at the Center for Research and Education in Economics and Negotiation at the Harvard Negotiation Institute. In 2014, he earned his Masters in Political Management from George Washington University in Washington D.C.
Due to his position, Torres will have to stay in Mexico City, however, he said, he will rely heavily on the ambassadors of the migrant council to make him aware of the needs of migrants abroad and that any what is established at the CDMX congress is carried out in the 46 countries where the Chilangos reside.