After the United States' volatile midterm elections, many in Latin America are hoping the Obama administration will refocus on issues south of the border.
But the power shift in the House of Representatives, the ascendancy of tea party politics and the United States' sluggish economy could cloud those hopes . . .
While Republicans are usually reliable supporters of free-trade agreements, it's unclear how the tea party -- and its wider influence on a Republican-controlled House -- might change that dynamic . . .
During the campaign, the Tea Party lashed out at illegal immigration and troubles along the Mexican border. That could make it politically tricky for them to pivot and advocate for free-trade deals in Latin America . . .
In Latin America, illegal immigrants are routinely rounded up, beaten, and physically and sexually abused before being summarily deported without any hint of due process. Moreover, there is little recognition of birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. But, none of that stops Latin American leaders from advocating for advantageous free trade.
Let Latin America's leaders oppose strict enforcement of America's immigration and citizenship law when their law is as generous.