In a dramatic shift in policy, Mexico is sending 15,000 troops to the U.S. and Mexican border to stop migrants from crossing into America.
Mexico has already sent thousands of troops to their southern border with Guatemala to stem the tide and this move will do even more to help Trump in his time of need.
Leftist groups in Mexico decry the plan as “doing US’s dirty work.” From The Washington Examiner:
Mexican Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval revealed the country has deployed just under 15,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to help stop migrants from crossing.
Sandoval revealed the numbers in a press conference with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“We have a total deployment, between the National Guard and army units, of 14,000, almost 15,000 men in the north of the country,” Sandoval said, according to Yahoo News.
“Given that [undocumented] migration is not a crime but rather an administrative violation, we simply detain them and turn them over to the authorities,” he added.
Trump threatened to impose a 5% tariff on all goods from Mexico “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” saying Mexico needed to do more to help stop the flow of migrants.
“Mexico’s passive cooperation in allowing this mass incursion constitutes an emergency and extraordinary threat to the national security and economy of the United States. Mexico has very strong immigration laws and could easily halt the illegal flow of migrants, including by returning them to their home countries. Additionally, Mexico could quickly and easily stop illegal aliens from coming through its southern border with Guatemala,” Trump explained in a statement released by the White House.
From Yahoo: Mexico has deployed nearly 15,000 soldiers and National Guardsmen to its border with the United States, the army chief said Monday — admitting they are detaining migrants who try to cross, after the policy triggered backlash.
Under pressure from US President Donald Trump to slow the surge of Central Americans crossing the border, Mexico promised earlier this month to reinforce its southern border with 6,000 National Guardsmen, but had not previously disclosed the extent of the crackdown on its northern border.
“We have a total deployment, between the National Guard and army units, of 14,000, almost 15,000 men in the north of the country,” Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said at a press conference alongside President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Asked whether those forces were detaining migrants to prevent them from crossing, Sandoval replied: “Yes.”
The policy is a shift from previous practice. The Mexican security forces have long detained undocumented migrants as they travel in the country, but had not typically stopped them from crossing the US border in the past.
The practice caused an outcry after an AFP photographer documented last week how heavily armed National Guardsmen in Ciudad Juarez forcefully stopped two women and a young girl from crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States.
In some cases, migrant families have been separated when some members manage to cross the border and others get detained on the Mexican side.
Mexico “is doing the United States’s dirty work,” Francisco Javier Calvillo, the head of the migrant shelter Casa del Migrante in Ciudad Juarez, told journalists in reaction to the new practice.
“That’s not the army’s job, the federal police aren’t trained to deal with migrants…. This policy is a clear violation of human rights,” added Calvillo, a Catholic priest.