HOUSTON, Texas — Mexico has recently launched its largest crackdown of illegal migration in decades, and it is yielding major results. Reports say their efforts have dramatically cut down the number of children and families making it across the border.
Government officials in Mexico have cracked down on the Death Train, also known as “La Bestia,” according to the Associated Press (AP). Thousands of children who travel via Death Train previously jumped onto a moving freight car. Minors who could not successfully pull themselves onto the traveling cars would fall onto the tracks–many were left with extreme injuries.
Mexican police have reported started raiding the rail cars and arresting any illegal immigrants they find.
Jorge Ruiz Williams, a 20 year-old immigrant from Honduras, told the AP, “They took almost everyone. We escaped [authorities] because we’re young and agile.”
Now that word-of-mouth has spread to Central America about the crackdown, many are choosing not to make the dangerous trek north to the United States.
Breitbart Texas’ Contributing Editor and border security expert Sylvia Longmire said, “Many Americans don’t understand the power of word-of-mouth in Latin America; it’s like gossip in a small American town times ten.”
Longmire continued, “It’s interesting to think about how the ‘humanitarian immigration crisis’ along the Texas border in the past few months would have looked if Mexico had just started these practices months ago, or even years ago. Undoubtedly, this is the result of considerable US public pressure on the Obama administration, and subsequent pressure from the US government on the Mexican and Central American governments.”
She added that whether or not the effort will be sustainable is “entirely up to the Mexican government. As more Central American immigrants start staying…and looking for work, perhaps authorities there will realize more about the problems we’ve been dealing with since the surge started and start cracking down on the Mexico-Guatemala border, as politically unsavory as that may be.”
While a recent decline in illegal immigrant apprehensions along the Texas-Mexico border is encouraging, it remains to be seen how long Mexico can keep up the intensity of its new operation. Their methods are already drawing criticism among Central Americans, according to the AP, many of whom see the efforts similar to those of the U.S. Border Patrol.
A 30-year-old man from Guatemala told the AP, “Before you could get through more easily. If I can get a steady job, a steady paycheck, I’d stay [in Mexico]…to send money back home.”
Follow Kristin Tate @KristinBTate.