The Trump Administration’s increased enforcement of immigration law is putting two kinds of pressure on Mexico. As I’ve discussed before, Mexico is straining to re-absorb returning migrants and integrate them into society. But Mexico is also under heavy pressure to deal with Central American immigrants flooding in—because they can no longer automatically continue into the U.S
During current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s transitional period before taking office in 2012, Mexico’s Milenio interviewed Arnulfo Valdivia, who was in charge of migratory matters in Nieto’s transitional cabinet. As I reported at the time, Valdivia shamelessly announced that the goal of the new administration was “to create the necessary filters so that those who cross by the southern border [of Mexico] do not stay stranded in their attempt to cross to the United States. “
But that doesn’t work if America enforces its immigration laws. Potentially millions of Central Americans could end up staying in Mexico, which is, after all, much wealthier than most Latin American countries.
To avoid that, Mexican authorities are increasingly cracking down on illegals passing through Mexico. PBS laments:
More and more Central Americans are deciding to stay in Mexico. In 2011, 752 Central Americans applied for asylum. In 2017, the U.N. estimates that number will be more than 22,000. [On the road in Mexico, Central American migrants face an uncertain future, April 13, 2017]
What do you want to bet that most applications will be turned down?
And the crackdown appears to be real.
[M]igrant arrivals are decreasing, in part because of Mexican efforts to stop them. For the last three years, the [Mexican] government has created rings of security within 100 miles of the border. Police use checkpoints to find drugs and migrants. Mexico is now finding and deporting more Central Americans than the United States is. In the past, the train known as La Bestia, or The Beast, was covered in Central Americans riding north toward the U.S. But, today, Mexican authorities have tried to make it much more difficult for migrants to ride these trains.[Links added]
The PBS report quotes a Mexican activist who supports the Central American illegal aliens and accuses the Mexican government of doing the dirty work for the U.S. But of course, this crackdown is not in the service of the U.S., it’s in defense of Mexico’s own national interests.
It is interesting, however, that the Spanish-language press in the U.S. is hostile to enforcement efforts in Mexico as well as in the U.S Thus La Opinión, the largest U.S. Spanish-language newspaper recently ran México persigue migrantes hasta en terminales de autobuses, by Gardenia Mendoza, June 1, 2017. The title translates to “Mexico pursues migrants even to bus terminals,” but the word translated as “pursue” could also be translated “chase” or even “persecute.” And Open Borders types do immigration law enforcement as persecution.
Mendoza writes (my translation):
The raids in the bus terminals of the country and especially in the states of Chiapas, Veracruz and Tabasco are not a new practice in execution, but they are in consistency. That is, every day there are more denunciations against immigration agents demanding documents that prove the nationality of the passengers.
Mexican immigration agents are going to bus stations and saying “Your papers please.”
Of the three states mentioned, Chiapas and Tabasco are border states and Veracruz has an important coastal route connecting to northern Mexico. Enforcement actions in these strategic states are important if you want to combat illegal immigration and transit.
Gardenia goes on to quote an activist who blames, naturally, the current occupant of the White House:
“This occurs with greater frequency since Donald Trump is president of the United States, “specifies Ruben Figueroa, activist of the Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano (Mesoamerican Migrant Movement), who periodically travels around the states of the south and southeast as a lookout of the human rights of the Central Americans who seek to arrive to the northern border.
The Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano is an organization headed up by Marta Sanchez Soler, born in France to a refugee family from the Spanish Civil War. In archaeology, the term Mesoamerica refers to the pre-Hispanic civilizational sphere stretching from central Mexico to northern Central America, but in the context of this organization, it seems to refer to Mexico and Central America together.
The organization’s Who Are We page proclaims:
We are persons and organizations that have always struggled to expand, from the places of origin, the permanent political and social actions of solidarity with the struggle of our migrant brothers and sisters who head the social movement for human mobility in the framework of the recognition of the full rights of international workers in Mesoamérica, the U.S.A. and in the rest of the world.
The organization’s list of demands includes immediate amnesty for illegals in the United States, a rejection of “militarization of the borders and raids” and a call for “Secure transit for the Central American migrants in their passage through Mexico.”
In other words, Open Borders.
La Opinión’s Gardenia claims illegal aliens from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have been using bus stations to pass through Mexico instead of the notorious cargo trains. This transition has occurred since 2014 and the start of Mexico’s Plan Frontera Sur (Southern Border Plan).
I have traveled a lot by bus in Mexico. Bus travel in there is very common, there are many buses and stations, and these are larger than those you see in America. So these really are important choke points.
Bus companies are reporting the illegals using their transportation. Figueroa of the Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano complains: “Now we see [Mexican] agents on the platforms and in the waiting rooms, even parking their vehicles between buses. They are also patrolling in the principal cities of Chiapas, Tabasco and Veracruz.”
What we had before President Trump was a security and humanitarian disaster spanning from Central America to the United States. Now, with Trump putting pressure on Mexico to control its own borders, we can similarly expect Mexican pressure on Central American governments who are cynically using emigration to get their own people out of their countries rather than solve problems.
In the long run, this would be better both for us and for our continental neighbors.
But for it to happen, it’s essential for us to keep the pressure on, and increase it. Keep detaining, keep deporting, build that wall, go after employers of illegals and plug the Anchor Baby loophole.
Keep the pressure on, and turn up the heat.
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) moved back to the U.S.A. in 2008 after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here ; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.