Mexico said it has met a U.S. 90-day deadline to reduce migrant flows across its territory.
Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard is to deliver a final report on the Mexican government initiatives on Friday, Sept. 6, three months after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexico unless it stemmed the flow of hundreds of thousands of primarily Central American refugees arriving at the U.S. border.
The number of migrants detained at the U.S. border fell from 133,000 in May to 95,000 in June and 72,000 in July. Mexico strengthened security at its porous southern border and set up checkpoints on highways leading north, deploying 21,600 police and troops nationwide.
Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador made the fight against migrant trafficking. He has quoted the U.S. in recent weeks and portrays the crackdown on migrants as a fight to defend Mexican laws. His administration, for example, has taken a tough line against hundreds of African migrants waiting for transit visas in the southern city of Tapachula that Mexico no longer issues.
“We will not budge,” he said after the Africans protested, “because the recent events in Tapachula aim to make Mexico yield and oblige us to give out certificates so migrants can get into the United States. We cannot do that. It isn’t our job.”
He said migrant caravans once tolerated by Mexico were the work of human traffickers, and effectively ended them.
“All of these people who traffic with migrants’ needs for jobs, safety, and welfare, they are committing a crime and they will be punished,” López Obrador said last week. “We are already doing this in Mexico, without violating human rights. We are ensuring there isn’t anarchy, disorder.”
Mexico has raided freight trains that migrants travel north on and pulled thousands of migrants off buses and from truck freight compartments. Bus and taxi drivers have been warned that they might lose their permits if they transport migrants.
Mexico also built a huge shelter for illegals on its northern border. The facility will allow these people to wait for a response to their asylum applications in the United States.
In June, 15,000 soldiers and National Guard policemen were deployed by the Mexican government to the U.S. border in a bid to check migration flow from Central America.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press