Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Mexico is stopping nearly three times as many migrants now, helping keep U.S. border crossings down

By 37ci3 May15,2024

Mexico is stopping nearly three times as many migrants crossing its southern border as a year ago, a trend that U.S. officials say has helped offset the spike in U.S. border crossings typically seen at this time of year.

Biden administration officials also point to Mexico’s increased assistance in slowing migration as evidence that relations with its southern neighbors are more effective than the Trump administration’s.

Former President Donald Trump has mocked President Joe Biden’s record and claimed his administration has been more successful in controlling the border.

Early last year, Mexico intercepted about 100,000 migrants a month at its southern border or within Mexico, while the U.S. detained more than 193,000 migrants a month at the U.S.-Mexico border. Mexico has stopped more migrants than the United States this year, with more than 280,000 in Mexico and 189,000 in the U.S. in March, according to numbers obtained by NBC News.

The Mexican government does not publicly share migrant ban numbers like the United States.

The high number of migrants stopped in Mexico shows how chaotic the US border could become if Mexico fails to continue its interdiction efforts. Another increase in border crossings could hurt Biden in future elections.

According to Customs and Border Protection officials, the April figures, which have not yet been released to the public, are expected to continue to show relatively low numbers compared to the seasonal spike typically seen in April and May.

It is not known how many of the migrants apprehended by Mexico were actually deported. Immigration advocates told NBC News that many migrants have been stopped by Mexican officials at the Guatemala-Mexico border and immediately returned to Guatemala.

Many others are stopped in northern Mexico and bused to the southern tip of the country. Amy Fisher, Amnesty International’s US director of refugee and migrant rights, said they cannot use the CBP One app on their cellphones to make an appointment for an asylum hearing in the US because the app does not work south of Mexico City. .

“In a way, they are doing the dirty work of the United States to prevent people from entering the southern border of the United States and exercising their security search rights,” Fisher said.

Certain groups, such as unaccompanied children and migrants traveling as families, receive special protections under Mexican law that limit their deportation.

U.S. officials say Mexico’s desire to stop more migrants, a costly process, is largely due to increased dialogue between the two countries on issues such as immigration, fentanyl and illegal firearms trafficking.

Both Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, acknowledged the severity of the problem late last year, when Mexico’s funding to stop migrants fell and the number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border hit a record high.

In late December, Biden held a phone call with López Obrador and sent Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Mexico to meet with their counterparts.

Since then, Mexico has intercepted at least 270,000 migrants every month.

“President Biden and President AMLO have developed a relationship where they talk about common issues [of migration]and they both recognize the common issues together,” said a senior Biden administration official. “Over the past several years, they’ve had many conversations and many calls to address and discuss this issue.”

The Trump administration has threatened Mexico with increased tariffs and trade disruptions if it does not comply with policies such as stay in Mexico, which forces immigrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in poor conditions in northern Mexico.

“We have respected Mexico as a sovereign equal state,” said a senior Biden administration official. “That’s a difference with this administration’s approach.”

History of cooperation

The Biden administration is not the first to work with Mexico to resolve migration and other border issues.

In 2008, during the George W. Bush administration, the Merida Initiative—a security agreement between the United States and Mexico—was created to reduce violence and combat drug trafficking. Congress approved $1.5 billion over two years for the initiative, which allows for the purchase of equipment such as helicopters and other aircraft to support Mexican law enforcement efforts.

During the Obama administration, the United States and Mexico expanded cooperation to include combating transnational criminal organizations by providing forensic equipment and training to Mexican law enforcement and improving immigration enforcement in Mexico.

The Trump administration has focused on reducing synthetic drug production and improving border interdiction and port security. He reportedly wants to pay Mexico $20 million to help deport thousands of migrants who entered Mexico in 2018 hoping to reach the United States. According to CNN and The New York Timeswill be used to finance bus and plane tickets to send migrants back to their home countries.

Trump in 2019 stopped the threatened tariffs Against Mexico, after agreeing to clamp down on southern border crossings. Mexico has deployed 6,000 soldiers to its border with Guatemala to prevent migrants.

During the Biden administration, the United States and Mexico announced a new security cooperation agreement called the Bicentennial Framework in 2021. The Bicentennial Framework replaced the Mérida Initiative and emphasized preventing cross-border crime by minimizing human and arms trafficking and disrupting illicit drug supply chains.

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By 37ci3

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