Department of Homeland Security acting director Chad Wolf praised the Mexican government for intercepting and detaining 800 migrants at the border with Guatemala. The migrants were part of a 4,000-strong caravan that is trying to pass through Mexico to the U.S. border.
Assisting the Mexican police were several dozen DHS employees, who were there primarily as observers. What they saw was unthinkable just a few years ago; the Mexican government cooperating with the United States to limit the number of migrants coming to our border.
The National Migration Institute (INM) announced Thursday that it had moved 800 migrants, including unaccompanied minors, to Mexican immigration centers where they would be provided for and processed.
While some had received asylum forms, migrants whose legal status could not be resolved would be deported, INM said. It was also still looking for 200 migrants who had avoided the Mexican National Guard.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard added that several hundred were immediately sent back to their home countries. The caravan originated in Honduras.
Trump opponents are fond of referring to the president’s threats to cut off trade or raise tariffs on Mexican goods without better cooperation on the immigration front as “bullying.” That may be. But did Mexico listen to the sweet importuning of the Obama administration? They laughed in their faces.
Mexico sees a national advantage in flooding the United States with refugees and illegal aliens. It may not be pretty, but threatening drastic action appears to have been the only thing that forced Mexico to help the U.S. address the massive humanitarian crisis on its southern border.
The Trump administration praised Mexico’s efforts to halt the caravan, after Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised last year that Mexico step up its efforts to prevent the mass migration of undocumented immigrants, as caravans overwhelmed authorities last spring.
“The efforts by the Mexican National Guard and other officials have thus far been effective at maintaining the integrity of their border, despite outbreaks of violence and lawlessness by people who are attempting to illegally enter Mexico on their way to the United States,” Wolf said Wednesday. He also said DHS personnel were on the ground and assisting Mexican efforts.
The leaders of the Honduran caravan wrote a letter to the Obrador [administration] requesting that “all the members of the caravan receive the permission to move freely through Mexican territory,” but were met with resistance at the border and tried to force their way in.
Two years ago, that caravan would have received assistance from the Mexican government to traverse the length of Mexico. Today they are stopped cold. Trump’s methods to achieve that may not be to many people’s liking, but getting the Mexican government to do what they should have been doing all along is worth it.