05:57 GMT23 January 2021
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    Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense announced Monday that nearly 15,000 troops would be sent to the country’s northern border with the United States in a bid to stem the flow of migrants into the US, for which Washington has attempted to hold Mexico City accountable.

    "In the northern part of the country we have a total deployment of 14,000, almost 15,000 units between the National Guard and the Army," Mexican Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval told reporters Monday at a joint press conference with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

    "If we left it completely in the hands of the National Institute of Migration it wouldn't be possible," he added. "That's why we're providing support; it's a strategy being pursued on both borders."

    "Given that migration is not a crime but rather an administrative violation, we simply detain them and turn them over to the authorities” at Mexico’s National Migration Institute, Sandoval said.

    The number represents a substantial increase from an earlier pledge to send 6,000 soldiers to the 1,954-mile-long border. The secretariat has also deployed an additional 2,000 troops along its southern border to compliment the 4,500 stationed on the borders with Guatemala and Belize.

    Earlier this month, Washington and Mexico City hammered out an 11th-hour deal to avoid the imminent imposition of tariffs on Mexican goods entering the United States. Trump said the purpose of the 5% tariff, which would have escalated another 5% each month until it reached 25%, was to compel Lopez Obrador to take decisive action to solve what Trump has identified as a national emergency: the steady flow of migrants to the US from Central America.

    Under the June 7 deal, Mexico has 45 days to demonstrate increased border enforcement, or the tariff regime will begin.

    According to statistics provided by US Customs and Border Protection, in Fiscal Year 2019 the agency has apprehended 593,507 people on the US-Mexico border.

    On Saturday, Trump postponed planned raids by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 10 US cities by two weeks "at the request of Democrats," Sputnik reported. The raids were expected to arrest as many as 2,000 undocumented migrants across the US.

    "At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border," Trump tweeted on June 22. "If not, Deportations start!"


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