Mexico is ramping up efforts to stop the influx of illegal immigrants originating from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and the measures already seem to have made an effect on migrants, a Fox News report says.
Following the deal with Washington, Mexico City deployed 791 immigration agents to the border and has promised to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops by Tuesday.
“Some soldiers were clearly visible Sunday on the Mexican side of the Suchiate River, giving migrants on the south shore in Guatemala second thoughts about crossing,” Fox Report writes.
The effect of the imminent crackdown is showing, say people who admit to disagreeing with Trump’s policies in general. Juan Carlos Zapata, a leader of a Guatemalan think tank and aid group is cited as saying that the crackdown forces Central American politicians to confront their own problems, instead of exporting them to the US.
“It is forcing politicians to focus on those issues and to start talking about policies that can actually increase foreign investment to create job opportunities in our country,” he said.
Most migrants leave for the US as a means of improving their economic condition, with less than 2 percent of migrants citing fleeing violence, according to a United Nations survey.
As an estimated half of young people left their Central Amercian nations for the US, crime in rural areas has become virtually nonexistent, according to reports.
Still, people returned to their countries of origin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have vowed to keep trying to sneak into the US despite the crackdown.
“I did it three times already, and three times I got caught,” said one migrant who worked at a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, adding he will keep trying. “I have $3, I have to work.”
“I will work here a few months and go back [to the US],” another said. “Yea, I am going back.”
Faced with a population shortage due to emigration, Guatemala – a geographic choke point for other Latin American countries – is actively considering striking a Safe Third Country agreement with the US. With this kind of agreement, detained migrants from across Central America would end up in Guatemala, and be required to file for asylum.
Earlier this month, Washington and Mexico City negotiated a deal in which Mexico promised to tighten its borders and its immigration laws. The US, in return, would not impose gradually increasing tariffs on Mexican imports. The deal is one of the Trump adminstration’s attempts to curb the influx of illegal immigration – which the president made a pillar of his 2016 presidential campaign.